Slip, Trip, And Fall Prevention


Slips, trips, and falls (STFs) have been a staple in comedy for centuries, from Charlie Chaplin slipping on a discarded banana peel to YouTube clips of people tripping over their own feet. However, the sobering reality remains that STFs account for 9 million visits to emergency rooms and 25,000 fatalities each year, while OSHA lists STFs as the leading cause of workplace accidents. Watch the video below for four simple steps your organization can take to help reduce slips, trips, and falls.


The High Cost of Slips, Trips, and Falls

A woman in NJ was awarded nearly $1 million for her injuries sustained when she slipped on water from a burst pipe in her local grocery store. Another woman, also in NJ, settled a suit for $950,000 after a fall outside of her apartment lead her to develop a flesh-eating virus in her injured hand. While these two incidents are extreme cases, the average cost of a STF injury is $20,000, while the cost to defend such a claim can be as much as $50,000.

Prevent the Accidental and Watch Out for the Intentional

Slip, trip, and fall incidents are preventable. However, there is another aspect of STFs every organization should be mindful of - the deliberate slip, trip, and fall. This type of fraud can be easily perpetrated by a single individual pretending to fall on ice he threw on the floor himself (see NBC News video below) or as complex as a sophisticated ring of individuals running a scheme that cost NYC businesses and insurers more than $31 million. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), "insurance fraud (non-health insurance) is estimated to be more than $40 billion per year. That means insurance fraud costs the average U.S. family between $400 and $700 per year in the form of increased premiums."


Steps to Stomp Out Fraud

The National Insurance Crime Bureau suggests some tips for how organizations can protect against STF fraud, including:

  • Be aware of possible hazards on your property and be proactive about corrective actions
  • Install cameras and review footage regularly
  • Video Video Video - the better the video the better ability businesses have to defend themselves from potential fraud
  • Post signage advising that video is in use - making people aware they are on video can be a great deterrent
  • Train employees how to react and what to do if someone falls
  • Secure interviews of witnesses right away - memories are best when statements are taken as close to the incident as possible
  • Involve your insurance company. The knowledge of your insurance company will go a long way. They may know about possible organized groups in the area

Additional Resources for Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls

Slips, trips, and falls can be prevented through proactive, practical steps. Review the resources below for more information and to assess your organization's risk.

  • Slip, Trip, and Fall Prevention Guide includes slip, trip, and fall causes and solutions, best practices, a checklist and a log for snow and ice removal, steps for responding to a slip, trip, and fall incident, and an incident report form.
  • Slip, Trip, and Fall Self-Assessment Checklist PHLY customers may complete and return this self-assessment for a complementary evaluation of their organization's slip, trip, and fall risk.

IMPORTANT NOTICE - The information and suggestions presented by Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company is for your consideration in your loss prevention efforts. They are not intended to be complete or definitive in identifying all hazards associated with your business, preventing workplace accidents, or complying with any safety related, or other, laws or regulations. You are encouraged to alter them to fit the specific hazards of your business and to have your legal counsel review all of your plans and company policies.

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