Floor Maintenance is Important Inside and Out

Loss Amount: $41,000

Situation: A man and his wife were bringing their dog to the veterinarian. As they walked along the sidewalk in front of the practice the man tripped and fell forward onto the concrete. The fall resulted in several fractured ribs, a head laceration and a mild concussion. He was taken to the hospital and treated for his injuries. His recovery lasted months.

The fall was caused by an uneven surface in the concrete less than an inch high where it was divided by a row of decorative bricks. This difference in height was enough to catch the man’s shoe. His ability to see the ground ahead may also have been obscured by the leashed dog.

Although the accident occurred outside the practice, the owner of it also owned and managed the property.

Lesson Learned: Trip and fall hazards are not discriminatory. They result in injuries to the young and old, customers and employees alike. Uneven surface hazards are especially dangerous in and around veterinary practices because people are distracted by animals or have their view obstructed by them. For this reason it is important to be ever vigilant about possible hazards.

Inspect the premises on a routine basis to identify potential trip and fall hazards as conditions change.

  • Eliminate uneven floor surface hazards whenever possible.
  • Relocate potential trip and fall hazards, such as floor scales or hoses, away from high traffic areas.
  • Use visual warning indicators such as caution tape, painted edges, or conspicuous signage to address floor surface hazards that cannot be eliminated. These may not be as effective at preventing an accident, but they may help in the defense of future litigation.

For further assistance in preventing all types of losses, call VISC at 888.762.3143.