As Connecticut residents, most of us are familiar with navigating icy sidewalks and puddles of melted snow at the entryways of buildings during the winter. Most of us know that we have to be extra careful to dry off our feet as we enter a building on a rainy day to not track in any excess water.
It’s not uncommon to see maintenance workers in buildings vacuuming, mopping or waxing floors. These all can pose potential slip, trip or fall dangers as well.
The above-referenced situations aren’t the only ones that we have to worry about, though. Floor mats are one of the leading causes of slip-and-fall incidents. There are various reasons why that’s the case.
How common are slip, trip and fall incidents?
At least 8 million individuals visit emergency rooms suffering from fall-related injuries each year, according to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI). At least a million of those are slip-and-fall injuries. Some insurance analysts note that better floor mat choices could reduce these injury incidents.
Are certain mats better at preventing falls than others?
Mats can be effective at preventing slips and falls in that they can trap debris and moisture from being tracked into a building. A recent study, the Standard Guide for Commercial Entrance Matting in Reducing Slips, Trips and Falls, was published through a collaborative effort between the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), ANSI/NFSI. It highlights how mats can vary in their effectiveness.
According to the report, NFSI-approved rubber-backed floor mats are most apt to stay in place. They note that the most effective mats aren’t any thicker than one-quarter inch, have contrasting colors and a 1:2 ratio beveled edge. This last feature enhances their visibility.
Can mat placement enhance effectiveness?
The ANSI/NFSI notes that business owners often incorrectly assume that they should just place these mats near entryways. However, they’re most effective when placed along any place where water accumulates or in heavily trafficked areas. They note that these mats are only effective at curbing slip-and-fall accidents if their owners regularly clean or replace them when edges start to curl up, or they become worn.
Falling after slipping or tripping can cause significant injuries, especially if your body strikes an inanimate object or a hard floor. A personal injury attorney can advise you of your right to recover compensation in such instances.