If you’re nervous about visitors, employees or customers or even yourself slipping, you’d be right. Slip and fall injuries cost businesses over six and a half billion dollars a year in America!
With settlements averaging in the tens of thousands of dollars, better to invest in prevention now, rather than lawyers later.
The good news is that there’s a lot you can do to minimize the risk of a slip and fall claim against you. So don’t be a sitting duck waiting for someone to hurt themselves.
Seeing as Durabak is a leading Slip & Fall prevention treatment, used by organizations such as the US Navy we thought we’d compile some tips to help you avoid being sued for Slip & Fall injuries. Obviously each state and often each judge will have different ways of looking at these things. You want to prove to the Judge that you did all you could and were not negligible. Be responsible and do all you reasonably can to prevent slips and falls. Work to protect those visiting your location from getting hurt by any hazards and you’d be off to a good start.
What you need to know
- Be responsible. One of the first things that will be marked against you in court is if you ignored a dangerous obstacle or didn’t deal with it properly. If there’s a hazard in your property you have to deal with it. That means if you know that someone spilled their drink you better get it dried up fast (paper towel first). If there’s something that people might trip over remove it immediately. Block off obstacles so that people can’t fall over on them unless they obviously ignored or flagrantly disregarded your precautions.
- Don’t create hazards. Whilst you have a reasonable amount of time to respond to someone else’s spills, if you or an employee created a danger (like mopping the floor, or leaving an obstacle that someone could trip over) you/they need follow rules – use signs etc. Pre-empt their activities to remove hazards immediately, warn and prevent others from falling on something which is reasonable to say “a tripping hazard”.
- Make sure there’s good lighting and that there are warning signs wherever necessary.
- It’s critical to identify any slip zones, places where there’s a greater likelihood for someone to lose their footing. These often include areas that are likely to get wet, like the floor in the freezer area in the grocery store, near the kitchen or bathrooms and entrance area where wet shoes can drag rain water onto your flooring. Seek adequate prevention in those areas by applying 2 coats of Durabak Polyurethane paint – for areas that are most likely to get wet use Textured Durabak coating with crumb rubber granules for a very high level of grip that can be painted on to any area of any shape or size. You can go with Bright Yellow or Bright Red Durabak to warn folks of the risk or pick from one of the other 14 colors to match or compliment the decor.
- Establish a routine for checking the floor areas on a regular basis to identify and eliminate any hazards, instead of waiting until someone falls – showing that you took care to prevent a slip will help your defense in court.
- If there’s an ongoing slip hazard that you knew about and didn’t work to prevent slips, you are showing negligence – you need to prove that you looked for any areas where slips were likely and did all you could to prevent them from happening.
- Make sure you have adequate warning signs and safety measures posted. Just remember when a customer is in your establishment they don’t know where the fire exits are like you might, they might be disorientated, or rushing and might not have the confident footing you have – just like a sports team always wins more ‘home’ games, than ‘away’ games, so too your patrons might just end up loosing their footing in your unfamiliar property. Do all you can to give them the assistance and warning to have a safe time in your establishment, and hopefully they’ll never miss a step.
By using some good ‘ole common sense and taking preventative measures that don’t have to cost an arm and a leg you can protect yourself from the very real possibility of multiple cases being raised against you. Durabak is a great way to protect yourself and your patrons with ASTM D2047: 1.1 Dry and >1.2 Wet you know that you have eliminated a lot of the risk that might have exposed you to significant legal costs and losses.
Durabak comes in both smooth and textured finishes so you can suit the finish to the use – for regular flooring where you want to offer a regular but good amount of grip go with Smooth Durabak Indoor. For areas with a higher likelihood of getting wet or just being slipped on you can use a bottom coat of textured Durabak and a top coat of smooth Durabak, thus creating high levels of grip and still maintaining an even color and being easy to wash. For areas that will see a lot of water, outdoors, decks, docks etc. you can go for more grip with 2 coats of textured Durabak and for the ultimate level of grip you can add DuraGrip silicon carbide grit to your Durabak application for a truly unbeatable level of traction.
Durabak can help
Durabak is shipped across all 48 states and is easy to apply, even by a non-professional on most surfaces – see how. If you want to take some active prevention and protect yourself you can buy Durabak now and rest assured that you have taken the first step to a more responsible approach. Durabak is extremely tough and resilient, so you won’t need to be replacing it anytime soon if applied according to the guidelines. So Durabak is not only a slip resistant flooring, but it’s simply a great, affordable and high quality floor coating for all uses.
If you have questions about Durabak please call us on 303-690-7190 for assistance.