Many California businesses could have dangerous flooring on their properties, according to a new report by commercial insurance and risk management firm CNA. The report indicates that companies may not be taking the type of flooring they use into account when creating fall prevention programs.
CNA found that half of business sites tested had flooring that did not meet minimum friction standards to prevent slip and fall accidents. Commercial flooring is required to have a dynamic coefficient of friction, or DCOF, level of at least 0.42. Further, an analysis of slip and fall insurance claims filed between January 2010 and December 2016 found a trend of frequent low-severity falls.
Retail establishments and real estate businesses were at highest risk for slip and fall claims. Of those claims, 40 percent occurred on walking or working surfaces, 33 percent occurred on parking lost surfaces, 27 percent occurred on business sidewalks and less than 1 percent occurred on office flooring. While fall-related head injury claims were infrequent, they occurred at a higher rate and severity in general liability claims than they did for workers' compensation claims. CNA recommends that businesses install slip-resistant flooring to reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents on their property. It further recommends that businesses test their flooring under wet conditions and only clean it with compatible cleaning products.
Victims of slip and fall accidents may be able to recover compensation by filing a premises liability lawsuit against the owners of the business where they were injured. Possible damages awarded in such a case could include medical expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering. A personal injury attorney could assess a victim's case and explain the legal options available.