Being aware of risk factors that can cause a slip-and-fall accident is especially important in restaurants, where they are more common than in many other types of facilities.
According to forensic reviews of dozens of slip-and-fall injury accidents, these are the 10 most commonly associated risk factors for slips and falls:
1. Surface composition: Refers to the type of floor surface and its slip resistance when dry and properly cleaned*
2. Foreign substances: Such as ice, grease, or water
3. Surface conditions: Raised or recessed edges, loose carpeting, soiling and overall cleanliness of the floor.
4. Surface changes: For instance, walking from a carpeted floor to a tile floor
5. Level changes: Surface level changes; unexpected slopes or raises of three steps or less
6. Obstructions: For example, extension cords, hoses, and other foreign items
7. Visibility: Poor lighting, but also glare, shadows, bright lights, or color contrasts, which can impede visibility
8. Human factors: Different individual physical capabilities and physical challenges, shoe types, and familiarity with a walk area
9. Stairs: Falls from stairs, which are defined as more than three steps. These typically result in the most serious injuries.
10. Unusual features: Out-of-the-ordinary conditions that might distract a walker, such as loud noises, strobe or flashing lights, etc.
“Conventional floor mopping methods can spread soils over floors and create a slippery situation, changing the floor’s surface condition. Selecting alternative floor cleaning systems such as ‘crossover’ floor cleaning systems can enhance cleaning results and lower risks.”
The study was conducted by Zurich Services Corporation, Schaumburg, IL, which identifies and assesses various risk factors, including slip-and-fall accidents, for organizations and suggests appropriate improvement actions where possible.