Tips For Avoiding Slips And Falls

PUBLISHED 01 Dec 2015

As leading Sydney and NSW compensation lawyers, we deal with a significant number of slip and fall claims for our clients in the course of the average working year.

The amount of slip and fall accidents reported in Australia per annum is consistently high – they remain the second leading cause of workplace accidents for example.

While the burden of care rests primarily on the owners of public and private venues, there is also naturally a need for active awareness on the part of the general public.

An ounce of prevention, as the old saying goes, is worth a pound of cure. So, with that in mind, we’d like to offer some tips on keeping safe for both businesses and individuals.

How businesses can stay safe

Every business has a clearly stated duty of care to keep their premises as safe as possible for both employees and customers. Help on managing health and safety risks in general is available from Safe Work Australia and their Slips and Trips at the Workplace pamphlet should be essential reading for any business owner.

Classic areas of risk include low light levels, loose or bumpy flooring, exposed cabling and potholes and cracks in floors. Unmonitored spillages are also a common culprit in many shopping centre accidents and supermarket accidents.

Business owners are advised to use regularly scheduled, checklisted assessments by members of staff to ensure safety standards are being maintained.

Tips for personal safety

Though you can reasonably expect business owners and public authorities to carry out their duty of care, it’s also up to you as a responsible citizen to take appropriate precautions.

Australia is thankfully free of many of the natural slip and fall hazards associated with chillier northern climes but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s a risk-free environment.

Bear the following in mind when you’re out and about:

  • Stay undistracted: Modern smart phones and devices are a blessing in terms of instant information but a curse in terms of distraction from your surroundings. Stay focused while you’re on the move.
  • Remain alert but calm: Rather than blithely assume your environment is completely obstacle free, cultivate a calm but constant awareness of potential risk factors for losing your footing.
  • Wear sensible footwear: There is a shoe for every occasion of course but – for most everyday tasks – you want something with a decent grip and a level sole to minimise your risk of slipping.
  • Don’t carry heavy loads: Struggling under a heavy load by yourself – possibly with your vision obstructed – dramatically increases your chances of losing your footing and causing injury to yourself and others.

What to do if you have an accident

It can be hard to think clearly in the immediate aftermath of an accident. If you are unfortunate enough to suffer an injury, bear the following suggestions in mind:

  • Take a picture: Make sure you get a clear picture of the accident location and any relevant details that might have caused it.
  • Identify witnesses: Get the personal details of anybody who saw your accident. These will be invaluable should a claim ever be pursued.
  • Check previous history: At the nearest opportunity, try to establish if there has been a history of similar accidents at that location in the past.
  • Report the accident: Responsible business owners should have procedures in place for accident reports to be filed. Check if this is the case. If not, compile your own version of events as soon as possible.
  • Seek professional help: If the accident is clearly the result of negligence on somebody else’s behalf, you should consult an accredited personal injury specialist as soon as possible.

At Gerard Malouf & Partners, we’ve handled thousands of successful negligence claims for our clients over the years. If you’ve suffered a fall through no fault of your own and wish to pursue a claim, you can be confident your case will be in safe hands.

Initial consultation is free and we operate on a no-win, no fee basis. Consult our case studies of successful claims or contact one of our specialists today for free over the phone advice or a face-to-face consultation with an expert public liability lawyer.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.