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Study links poor surface friction to slip and falls

CNA Financial Corporation has released a Slip and Fall Study Report, which should be of interest to business owners across North Carolina. After analyzing all of the slip and fall liability claims filed against CNA from January 2010 to December 2016, researchers found that while slip and fall incidents were more frequent than they were deadly, they were often the result of poor surface friction.

In fact, 50 percent of the floors on surveyed sites did not meet the minimum for dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) levels set by the American National Standards Institute. In addition, many of the accidents took place in retail establishments and realty offices, with 40 percent on walking and working surfaces, 33 percent in parking lots, and 27 percent on sidewalks leading to the entrance. Interior office floors contributed to less than 1 percent of slip and falls.

Researchers encourage business owners to take certain precautions. For example, they should choose slip-resistant floors, test how they hold up under wet conditions, and measure their DCOF level with a tribometer. Only cleaning agents that are compatible with the floor type should be used. With increased risk awareness, businesses may be able to avoid serious injuries on their property.

Sometimes, though, inadequate lighting or security can lead to slip and fall accidents, some of which end in traumatic brain injuries. Victims of such accidents often have the need for lengthy and expensive medical care, and many are unable to return to work for prolonged periods. They might find it advisable to have legal help when seeking compensation for their losses.

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