Top 10 Risk Factors for Slip-and-Fall Accidents

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.

“Of particular concern is ‘surface conditions’ of the floor,” says Matt Morrison, communications manager for Kaivac <> , developers of the OmniFlex™ Crossover Cleaning <>  system.

“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.”

* Some hard-surface floors may be slip-resistant when dry, but slippery when wet or soiled.