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COVID-19 Protocols may Increase Slip and Fall Risks

The Covid-19 pandemic has required restaurants, hotels, malls and other commercial establishments that are open in Georgia to adopt certain protocols to maintain safe health standards.  However, sanitization and social distancing protocols at these facilities may actually increase the risks of slip and falls at these establishments.

Businesses are now expected to protect not just employees, but also patrons, including customers and guests.  Facility Executive, a publication that caters to facility maintenance, has advice for businesses that are looking to reopen in the new “normal.”   The new sanitization protocols can lead to the creation of several unsafe slip and fall risk zones around an establishment.  It is important for businesses to identify these potential slip and fall risk zones, and take steps to mitigate the risks of fall accidents in these areas.

At many of these businesses, handwashing protocols will reign supreme. The areas around hand sanitization and washing stations are at special risk. Many of these handwashing counters are situated right at the entrance, which means a greater possibility of spillage of liquids and sanitizers on the floor, comprising a possible fall risk, when people enter the establishment.

Businesses have also increased the frequency of cleaning procedures. That means more cleaning, washing and mopping in a day, contributing to several potential slip and fall hazard hazards that businesses must take into consideration as they decide to open their establishments to customers.

In addition, elevators are now restricted in the number of passengers they carry which means that stairwells are likely to see more traffic. This will also increase trip and fall risks for high-risk groups like the elderly, who are not able to use the elevator.

In order to reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents on a property, businesses must use mats liberally around the premises. These floor mats should preferably have an adhesive back, and should be designed to absorb any excess water that drips off in restrooms, and around hand washing and sanitization stations.  It’s important for mats to be backed by an adhesive, so that they do not become a potential trip hazard for customers or guests.

Businesses should also be sure to have plenty of pedestrian alerts that warn visitors of the possibility of slippery floors. This is especially necessary in those properties in which floors are being cleaned several times in a day.

Business owners must be ever vigilant to the dangers of not only the Covid-19 infection, but also the potential slip and fall hazards in their businesses, as a result of the very same procedures that are being used to keep visitors safe. Slip and fall accidents are often serious and result in broken bones, and even brain and spinal injuries.  Some of the damage from these injuries can even be long-term and permanent in nature.

If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a mall, hotel, restaurant or any other commercial establishment or on another person’s premises, speak to an Atlanta slip and fall lawyer at the Katz Law Firm, and discuss your legal options for compensation. You may be eligible to file a claim that recovers compensation for damages, including medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and other types of damages.  Talk to an attorney, and get a free evaluation of your claim.

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