Routinely Inspect the Furniture in Your Waiting Rooms

Loss Amount: $12,000

Situation: A customer came into the animal hospital to have her dog treated. As she sat in the waiting room, she had her small dog in her lap. She leaned back in her chair and the chair unexpectedly broke and collapsed, causing the two to fall to the floor. The dog was uninjured and the woman initially refused the offer to call an ambulance or seek medical attention, but later went to the emergency room.

The accident resulted in strains to the woman’s neck and back. Her pain worsened over the
days that followed. Subsequent treatment for the injuries involved several months of physical
therapy before her condition was considered permanent and stationary.

An investigation found that the chair involved in the accident broke into three pieces, with the
seat and back separating from the legs. This may have been caused by overuse, lack of proper
maintenance, or a defect in the chair. Nevertheless, practice owners are responsible for
maintaining a safe and healthy environment for their clients and patients.

Lesson Learned: Furniture provided for clients should be routinely inspected to check for any problems that could cause an accident or injury, such as loose hardware or sharp edges. If such a condition is found, the item should be removed from service until it can be repaired or replaced. While there
may be a cost involved in maintaining your furniture, it is far better than the unknown expense
and other negative effects of an accident involving one of your client

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