Help Avoid Slip and Fall Lawsuits with Slip-Resistant Flooring

Wednesday June 24, 2009
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If you are a business owner, one of the first thoughts that come to your mind when you hear the words "slip and fall lawsuits" is probably "That's the last thing I need." By installing the right slip–resistant flooring in your business, you can drastically increase your floor's traction, therefore reducing the probability of being sued for damages from a slip, trip and fall incident. In this flooring article we will identify slippery floors to avoid, as well as floors that help reduce potential trip and fall lawsuits in your business or workplace.

"Slip and fall" accidents can occur to both workers in the workplace as well as potential customers and clients visiting your place of business. These accidents often result in lawsuits that could potentially cost your company huge sums of money between attorney fees and money paid in damages to the plaintiff holding you liable. The obvious solution is to choose slip–resistant floors. However, depending on the type of activities that will occur in the workplace, different floor coverings will be required. There are several different options to consider, many of which provide better slip–resistance than others, and some which are only appropriate for specific installation areas.

Let's take a look at some commonly used slip–resistant floors that will help to prevent the potential of a slip and fall injury to your employees and customers.

Help avoid slip and fall lawsuits by installing the right flooring in your employee workplace

For flooring areas where workers will be completing specific lines of work (i.e. in warehouse stock rooms, restaurant kitchens, product manufacturing lines, and chemical facilities) there are special slip–resistant floors made specifically for these areas. These floors may also be chemical, oil, and static resistant, or have other features that are required depending on the nature of the work being done in the area of installation being considered. Common non–slip flooring chosen for these areas include, but are not limited to, textured rubber tiles and rolled floors, molded gratings, epoxy and polyurethane resin floor coatings, textured steel or aluminum plates, and many other types of innovative slip–resistant flooring customized for specific industries.

Help avoid slip and fall lawsuits by installing the right flooring in other business settings

If you are choosing floors to help avoid a slip and fall incidents in a more sophisticated professional business setting (i.e. in a retail store setting, conference room, or private office), you may be looking for something a little more conventional such as tile, stone, vinyl, laminate, hardwood, or carpet. When choosing hard–surface floors, always opt for those that are textured rather than smooth and shiny. Avoid polished stone, smooth glazed ceramic or porcelain tiles and other flat, un–textured surfaces that are slippery to start off with and only become more dangerous when wet. Also avoid carpets with an extra long pile that can cause shoe soles to catch easily, which can cause your clients or employees to trip.

Instead choose floors that are deemed to be slip–resistant or anti–slip to avoid the potential that one of your clients would trip and fall, becoming injured in your place of business, resulting in a slip and fall lawsuit. When choosing ceramic, porcelain, or stone tile, choose smaller textured tiles, which result in more frequent grout lines that help to provide additional slip resistance between tiles. When choosing hardwood, bamboo, or laminate choose those that are textured (i.e. a hand scraped design). There are also anti–slip treatments which can be applied over some hard–surface floors to provide added slip–resistance, though you should check with your flooring manufacturer to avoid compromising your warranty.

Installing the right slip–resistant flooring will not only help you avoid the potential damages paid to the plaintiff and fees paid to a law firm, but will also help to protect the well–being your employees and clients, as well as your insurance policy.

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