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How effective are traditional slip-and-fall preventive measures?

Just about anywhere you go, especially during the winter, you might see a sign warning customers about a wet floor or a notice cautioning employees to wear nonslip shoes. You and other North Carolina residents might want to take note of the ways you could slip and become injured, despite the warning signs and precautions you take.

According to EHS Today, many precautions, particularly permanent warning signs, can become a part of the landscape, to the point where you and others may become so used to seeing them that you don’t notice them until you slip and fall. Other ways that preventive measures might lose their effectiveness can include the following:

  • Shoes – Your employer may require you to wear nonslip shoes, but different types of footwear serve different purposes. You could easily slip and fall on the ice outside wearing shoes designed for safety in a restaurant environment.
  • Signage – If you see a wet floor sign in the grocery store, you might walk more carefully near the sign. However, slipperiness from a cooking oil spill or another slick substance may spread on the floor beyond the signs, where you wouldn’t expect it to be.
  • Awareness – Do you make a habit of looking at the ground everywhere you walk? Few people do, and it is not reasonable to expect people to notice every spill or hazard.

You may prevent a serious fall by being aware of your surroundings, following signs and wearing the appropriate safety gear, but these precautions often imply that the fault lies with you. This is often not the case, especially if an employee failed to completely mop up a spill or your employer did not address a pervasive safety risk

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