Slip and Fall Hazards for the Elderly
Slips and falls are common in the elderly community. Falls are the leading cause of death in people 65 and older. As people get older, bones in the human body lose density and as a result have less resistance to stress and break or fracture easier. This is why hip and pelvis fractures are very common with falls involving elderly people. Also, the elderly tend to have decreased physical activity and do not exercise as much as they used to. With decreased muscle tone and strength, falls are more commona and generally more severe.
Falls usually occur due to a slippery surface, change in elevation, and foreign objects. Foreign objects can be anything that is left on the ground such as a rug or mat. One third of falls that involve the elderly are due to hazards at their own homes.
If someone were to fall in a store as a result of an employee’s negligence, the owner of the store will be found liable. To help avoid falls such as these owners must ensure their store or shop is safe and free of hazards.
Owners should try to forsee slip and fall hazards and take steps to minimize those hazards. Some of the things to look for include:
-There is a presence of handrails
-The lighting is adequate
-If there is a mat, ensure that the edges all lie flat using nonskid tape and that there is nowhere on the mat that is raised and presents a trip or fall hazard.
-There is adequate walking space
-There is walkway routing
-There are no cracks or abrupt edges on the walking surface
Common trip and fall accidents in stores occur when there is a mat or rug on the ground. If there is an incident, usually a corner of the mat was flipped up or wrinkled. If this is the case, then it is considered negligence on the owner’s part and they will be liable. It is the owner’s job to ensure that the store he or she owns that everything in the store is up to code, especially the edges of any mats or rugs.
As for tips to avoid falls including elderly people, the same tips aimed at owners listed above can also apply. In addition people can ensure:
-There are no cords or wires sticking out that somebody may get their foot caught on
-Avoid using floor polish or wax because they are slippery
-Use paint colors that provide a sharp contrast between elevation changes
One of the truly best ways to determine if something is unsafe is just common sense. If it looks dangerous at all, it probably is!
If you or a loved one has been injured in a fall, contact the Law Offices of Keith J. Stone. Keith Stone and his team can assist you in locating appropriate medical services and will provide you with a consultation on your case. They have valuable experience with fall incidents and will give their absolute best effor towards getting you compensation for your injuries
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Keith J. Stone also handles cases originating elsewhere in California and across the USA.