Building owners and landlords in New Jersey and around the country could do more to protect their visitors from slips and falls according to a study from CNA. The Virginia-based risk assessment and management firm studied slip and fall liability claims filed between 2010 and 2016, and it found that floors with low slip-resistance ratings were often involved. The American National Standards Institute has set a minimum dynamic coefficient of friction rating of .42 for flooring materials, but the floors in half of the sites studied by CNA failed to meet this standard.
About 40 percent of the slips and falls studied by CNA took place on walkways and working surfaces, and most injuries were suffered when visitors were either arriving or leaving. The flooring materials used in these areas is often chosen for its appearance and durability, but flooring surfaces that are able to withstand heavy wear are frequently not very good at absorbing spills.
In addition to selecting more slip-resistant materials, building owners and landlords should check the DCOF levels of their floors regularly using a tribometer according to CNA. Floors should also only be cleaned, refinished or treated with products that have been approved by their manufacturers. When floors with poor DCOF levels are found, signs should be placed warning visitors about the dangers and advising them to be on the lookout for spills.
The defendants in slip and fall lawsuits sometimes claim that accident victims acted negligently and could have avoided injury altogether if they had taken more care. Experienced personal injury attorneys may prepare for these arguments by gathering information about the building in question such as how dangerous conditions are reported and addressed.