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Slips and falls may be preventable

Business owners throughout New York may be surprised at the results of a CNA study on slip and fall accidents. Researchers at the financial corporation have studied the slip and fall liability claims that the insurer received from Jan. 1, 2010, to Dec. 31, 2016, coming to several important conclusions.

Slip and fall accidents were high in frequency but low in severity, though some victims wound up with traumatic brain injuries. Filing a general liability claim rather than a workers' compensation claim was the norm for such victims. The most common cause of accidents was poor surface resistance, as 50 percent of floors on surveyed sites failed to produce the minimum dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) level.

Many incidents took place in retail establishments and real estate businesses. In particular, entry flooring accounted for 40 percent of slip and falls, followed by parking lots (33 percent) and sidewalks leading to the entrance (27 percent). Fewer than 1 percent of these accidents took place on interior office floors.

To avoid accidents, business owners are encouraged to promote risk awareness. Floors should be slip-resistant, especially under wet conditions. DCOF levels can be measured via a tribometer. Cleaning materials should be appropriate for the floor type. Business owners can then turn to the issue of avoiding contaminants on their walkways.

Clutter and debris can, after all, be a major cause of slip and falls. Victims who feel that the business owner is responsible might want to see a lawyer about filing a premises liability claim. The lawyer can review the evidence at hand in order to determine the party or parties that should bear financial responsibility.

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