Avoid Slip-and-Falls Accidents in Malls
Holiday shoppers can get their holiday shopping done Penn Square Mall, Quail Springs Mall. Folks in Norman have Sooner Fashion Mall and in Tulsa, holiday-happy shoppers will go to Woodland Hills Mall, Tulsa Promenade and Utica Square Shopping Center in search of the perfect gift.
Winter weather can make even a holiday shopping trip treacherous, and Oklahoma residents need to be cautious in malls and stores where slippery floors, flooded parking lots, crowds, and high winds can contribute to slip-and fall injuries.
Slip-and-fall accidents are no joke: Unintentional falls caused 26,009 deaths in 2010, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall, falls accounted for more than 21% of all unintentional deaths in 2010.
Uneven pavement, wet showroom floors, and crowded entryways can create unsafe conditions.
The U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration offers tips for avoiding slip-and-fall accidents.
The list is geared toward employers who are responsible for workplace safety, but the information provides insight on how stores, malls, and other businesses should keep consumers safe:
- Maintain clean, dry floors. Wet floors are a slip-and fall hazard. Fungus and bacteria can grow in areas that are frequently wet. Microorganisms can make floors extremely slick.
- Use warning signs for wet floors. If an employee mops an area and does not leave an alert, people can slip and fall.
- Maintain drains, floor mats, and other measures to dry out areas that frequently get wet and minimize wet surfaces.
- Make sure that aisles are clear so that people can exit in an emergency and walk freely. Tripping over obstructions can cause falling and crushing injuries.
- Treat floors of wet areas with no-skid wax or grit. Traction in no-slip areas can prevent slip-and-fall accidents.
- Fix bulges or rolls in the carpet that present a tripping hazard.
- Install sufficient lighting to prevent stumbles and falls.
- Renovate and correct uneven surfaces.
- Store medical supplies in an easy-to-access location.
- Encourage good working habits in cramped or crowded spaces.
Slip-and-fall accidents are serious and cause injuries from sprains and bruises to traumatic brain jury.
Although most people are safety-conscious, accidents happen and Oklahomans who suffer slip-and-fall injuries do have legal rights under premises liability law. Business owners are responsible for making sure their premises are safe for the public.
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