A new report from New Pig Corporation (an authority on leaks, drips, and spills) shows that slip-and-fall accident risk is being severely underestimated by many professional property management organizations, and that these risks and aren’t being adequately mitigated. The Walk Zone Safety Report examines slips, trips, and falls in workplaces and public facilities, and was prepared in 2017 by New Pig by surveying maintenance, safety, health risk, and facilities management professionals across multiple industries.
The New Pig survey clearly indicates that property managers who underestimate floor safety risks and remain unaware of high-risk walk zones within their buildings will expose themselves to significant liability, medical costs, productivity losses, and damage to brand reputation. The Walk Zone Safety Report cites Bureau of Labour Statistics data that same-level slip and fall accidents (i.e. not falls from an elevated height or platform) are the leading cause of workplace injuries in the United States (totaling nearly 200,000 in 2015!) The 2017 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index reported this type of slip and fall accident resulted in almost $11 billion in workers’ compensation and medical costs last year.
The Walk Zone Safety Report shows these four points as primary takeaways from the survey:
- The number of risk zones in a given commercial building is severely underestimated. 46% of survey respondents believe there are only 0 to 3 same-level fall risk areas in their facility…yet the survey revealed an average of over ten different locations identified as slip and fall risks.
- Most risk zones go ignored. Although 92% percent of property managers place floor mats in entrance areas, but the remaining 9 other common slip and fall risk zones go uncovered.
- Rental mats cause falls instead of preventing them. Nearly 15% of property managers reported that wrinkled, bunched-up, or shifting rubber-backed floor mats are the primary reason for falls in their building. Light-duty rental floor mats are the chief cause of this problem, as mats that are thin and light enough to be launderable are too thin and light to remain in place during use.
- Customer walkways are a significant problem area. Only 31% of survey respondents reported placing floor mats in customer walkways, although 24% of respondents had experienced slip and fall accidents in these areas.