Slip-and-fall accidents can happen to anyone, at any time. When a surface contains a dangerous defect, such as a wet spot or food debris, it can be disastrous for unsuspecting visitors. Most slip-and-falls are preventable with a property owner’s due care and prudent property management. Learning more about slip-and-fall accidents could help you discover whether you have grounds for a lawsuit in Pennsylvania. Ciccarelli Law Offices’ Philadelphia slip-and-fall accident attorney can answer any question you have regarding these types of accidents.
Pennsylvania Injury Statistics
When we turn to data regarding injury statistics for Pennsylvania, we know that falls are the third leading cause of preventable death in the Commonwealth. They fall behind poisoning deaths and car accident deaths but are in front of choking deaths. In 10 states in the US, falls are the leading cause of preventable deaths.
These numbers are astounding. Whether at work, in public places, or at private residences, everyone needs to be mindful of preventing slip and fall injuries. This is particularly true for property owners who should always work to ensure safety on their premises.
According to the National Safety Council analysis of National Center for Health Statistics, the most common accidental deaths in Pensylvania include:
- Poisoning – 40.6
- Falls – 13.9
- Motor Vehicle Accidents – 9.9
- Choking – 2.8
1. About 8 Million People Go to the ER for Falls Annually
Falls are extremely common accidents, sending around eight million victims to emergency rooms throughout the country per year according to the National Flooring Safety Institute (NFSI). About one million of these visits (12%) stem from slip-and-fall accidents. That equates to about 2,000 ER visits from slip-and-fall accidents per day.
2. Falls Are Common in the Workplace
In 2016, 831 workers throughout the U.S. lost their lives in various fall accidents, according to the National Safety Council. An additional 48,060 suffered serious enough injuries to require taking sick leave from work. The majority of these workers (697) fell to a lower level, but 134 died after same-level falls. The risk of falls at work is highest for workers in construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade and retail.
3. Falls Are the Number One Killer in Construction
Falls at work take more lives in the construction industry each year than any other type of accident. In 2017, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) data recorded 381 fall-related deaths in construction. Falls accounted for 39.2% of all worker fatalities in construction in 2017. Statistically, men are more likely to suffer serious falls in the workplace than women.
4. Lack of Fall Protection Is the Most Commonly Violated Safety Standard
Employers in the U.S. must obey safety rules, protocols and regulations set in place by OSHA. Ignoring these rules to save time or money could cause a serious or fatal workplace fall. The most frequently cited OSHA standard violated in the fiscal year 2018 was a lack of fall protection in the construction industry. This safety violation contributed to many worker fall injuries and deaths. Workers injured in slip-and-fall accidents could be eligible for compensation.
5. By 2030, 7 People Will Die in Falls Every Hour
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that if fall rates continue to climb as they have over the past decade, by the year 2030 seven people will die in slip- or trip-and-fall accidents per hour in the U.S. Currently, the fatal fall rate is 61 deaths per 100,000 people – an increase from 47 deaths per 100,000 in 2007.
6. 20% of Falls Cause Serious Injuries
The CDC also states that 20%, or one in five, falls lead to serious injuries. Serious injuries can include bone fractures, spinal cord injuries, major sprains and traumatic brain injuries. Victims of severe slip-and-fall accidents may never fully recover from their injuries. Fractures are the most common serious injury from falls, occurring in 5% of victims.
7. Serious Falls Are Most Common in the Elderly
Data from the NSFI highlights the dangers of falls for the elderly. Poor vision, disabilities, lack of mobility, bad balance, muscle weakness and conditions such as vertigo can contribute to the risk of fall accidents for seniors.
8. 1 in 3 Older Adults Experience Falls Annually
The NFSI also reports that one in three people over the age of 65 will suffer a fall each year in the U.S. Thousands of people over 65 die each year because of falls. The risk of falling increases with every 10 years of life.
9. All Falls Are Preventable
Falls are the outcome of one or more parties’ negligence. If an employer, property owner, product manufacturer or another party fails to ensure the safety of a premises, a slip-and-fall accident could occur. Due care to prevent slip-and-fall risks such as wet or slippery floors could prevent related accidents, injuries and deaths.
10. Floors and Flooring Material Are a Leading Cause of Falls
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says that floors and flooring materials directly cause more than 2 million fall injuries annually. Whether in a private residence or on public property, the type of flooring matters.
11. Half of Accidental Home Deaths Are Caused by Falls
Most falls at home happen at ground level, but they contribute to half of all accident home deaths. This is a major concern, especially if you regularly have guests to your home or are visiting another person’s home.
12. Hip Fractures Are a Serious Problem
Hip fractures are the most serious fractures that occur due to falls. They primarily occur in the elderly who fall, and these fractures can lead to significant health risks and a decreased quality of life for a victim.
13. The Older a Person Is, the More Likely They Are to Fall
This may seem like common sense, but studies show that each decade of life significantly increases a person’s slip and fall risk.
14. Nursing Home Residents Face High Slip and Fall Risks
Around 60% of nursing home residents fall each year. This is a major concern, and nursing home operators and employees must work to ensure that each resident is safe. This includes evaluating safety risks for each resident and ensuring proper fall prevention protocols are followed.
15. Falls Lead to Fractures for the Elderly
Falls cause 87% of fractures in those over the age of 65. They are also the second leading caused of spinal cord injuries and brain injuries for those over the age of 65.
16. Falls Are the Leading Cause of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Regardless of age, falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries. Most people think of these injuries occurring primarily in car accidents, but that is not the case. Traumatic brain injuries can lead to long-lasting or permanent disabilities for a victim.
17. Health Factors Can Increase Slip and Fall Risks
Various health factors can increase a person’s slip and fall risk. This can include nutrition deficiencies, bodily weakness, vision problems, certain medications, and more. Those who cater to people with health issues (doctor’s offices, nursing homes, etc.) must keep this in mind at all times.
18. Slip and Fall Incidents Lead to Missed Work
Approximately 22% of all slip and fall incidents that occurred in the workplace resulted in 31 days away from work.
19. Property Owners Have a Duty to Ensure Safety
Property owners must work to ensure that those who have a right to be on their property are safe from slip and fall hazards. Property owners and their employees have a duty to remedy any hazards or warn patrons of the possible danger they face.
20. Victims Can Receive Compensation in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania’s personal injury laws allow victims of slip-and-fall accidents to seek financial compensation for their injuries from at-fault parties. Filing a slip-and-fall accident claim against a negligent or careless party could result in payment for fall-related medical expenses, lost wages, physical pain and other damages.