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More can be done to reduce slip and fall injuries

Slip and fall accidents are a common cause of workplace injuries in Georgia and around the country according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and a study conducted by a leading industrial absorbent company suggests that property owners and building managers are not doing nearly enough to protect their workers and visitors. The New Pig report also claims that some of the steps commonly taken by businesses to reduce slip and fall accidents and injuries are actually making the problem worse rather than better.

New Pig's Walk Zone Safety Report was based on data compiled during interviews with safety, maintenance, health and facilities management experts in several industry segments. Almost half of those polled severely underestimated the number of risk zones in their buildings according to the report, and less than a third of them said that they placed floor mats in customer walkways. Accidents in these areas account for about one in four slip and fall injuries.

Rubber-backed floor mats are often placed in high-traffic areas to prevent mishaps, but the New Pig report indicates that these measures often make accidents more likely to occur. About 15 percent of the survey respondents told New Pig that bunched-up, shifting or wrinkled rubber-backed mats were the leading cause of fall injuries in their buildings. The report's authors say that facility managers and premises owners should take a broader view of building safety rather than just focusing on a handful of highly trafficked locations.

The defendants in lawsuits filed by slip and fall accident victims often claim that they did all they could to protect their visitors and were unaware of potentially dangerous situations. Experienced personal injury attorneys will likely be familiar with such arguments, and they may use industry data to establish that accidents were foreseeable and injuries could have been prevented.

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