When I first pitched the idea of floor safety to the team, they weren’t sure it would be relevant to most homeowners.
But then I showed them these stats from the National Floor Safety Institute: 8 million Americans go to the ER every year for accidental falls. Of these, 33,000 die.
Whether you’re worried about yourself falling or not, most likely you have loved ones that you do care. For me, it’s my mom. She lives alone and I’m always worried about her getting hurt from falling.
Not to mention my future. You think about securing yourself financially, so why wouldn’t you make your home comfortable and safe for the years to come?
Still don’t think it applies? Are you a business owner? What if someone slips on your floor, breaks a hip…who’s going to be paying for that? In the retail industry, it’s estimated that slips or falls lead the way for employee and guest injuries—it’s estimated these injuries cost the industry over $20 billion a year.
My point is, even if you don’t think floor safety is a problem for you, you might want to look into it and consider making things safer for everyone. Could save you a lot of money and worry.
Here are a few ways to secure your walkways, home or business. If you own a business, you should definitely be consulting with professionals, insurance agencies, etc. to protect yourself and your employees and customers (as I’m sure you know!).
• Walkway audit—you can do it at home yourself and simply ensure you have non-slip floors, non-slip rugs (or no rugs, depending on your needs), clean up spills quickly, good lighting, etc. If you’re a business owner, you should have professional walkway auditors and safety consultants doing walkway audits routinely.
• Clean regularly—keeping things clean regularly means you fix things as soon as is needed and you’re cleaning up spills and other hazards before they become a danger. If you’re already cleaning regularly, chances are you’ll see the problems before they hurt you or someone else.
• Clear the clutter—reduce slips, trips and falls by keeping your walkways organized.
• Footwear—businesses should already have proper floor cleaning procedures in place as well as proper footwear for the workplace. Though my mother doesn’t find the shoes very fashionable, she wears non-slip shoes because she knows a fall at her age is not very forgiving. So, if you have someone in your life (yourself included) who is at greater risk, consider buying better non-slip shoes.
• Slip prevention—footwear falls under this, but in addition to footwear, rugs should be non-slip and safer flooring should be installed and maintained. Some floors are inherently slippery and should be avoided if that’s a concern.
You can read all the technical details more here, but it’s written more for corporations and industries.
Basically, this article might sound neurotic to you, as a typical homeowner and not a business owner, but I think it’s much more relevant than you might initially realize.
The simple precautions help me feel better about my mom, and my spouse and I have already made plans to install different flooring in the next ten years (we call it our age-appropriate floor plan).
Just something to think about.