Slip & Fall Hazards

   Slip and fall accidents however bizarre may be more common than car accidents. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year about 235,000 people over age 15 visit emergency rooms because of injuries suffered in the bathroom, and almost 14 percent are hospitalized. More than a third of the injuries happen while bathing or showering. More than 14 percent occur while using the toilet“. Research statistics also indicate that slip and fall on sidewalks due to snow and black ice buildup, as well as kitchen accidents, are more common than one might think!

   Sidewalks are more prone to slip and fall accidents than the slippery conditions created for vehicles by black ice on roads that result in tire skids. Sidewalks that are not properly cleaned of snow not only result in to slip and fall accidents but also lawsuits. These lawsuits are often directed by victims towards owners of properties that failed to shovel the sidewalks creating hazardous conditions. Black ice on the drive way or patio stairs also leads to slip and fall accidents. These areas of the property are usually spread with salt to avoid black ice from developing in extreme weather. Should ice formation be evident despite the use of salt, one may try using metal shovels or similar consumer products to break this dangerous ice formation! Snow blowers and heated driveways are often regarded as solutions to the problem. Also, consumer products like heft attached to a snow shovel make shoveling easy without resulting in to back pain problems and efficient snow cleanup. For the slip and fall victims, properly tied shoelaces with shoelace beads as well as shoe spikes may stop the catastrophe. Shoes and other footwear must also be scraped clean to avoid bringing water inside a house or building. Shoe hangers instead of shoe racks can help keep track of water spills and create less mud and mess inside a residential or commercial structure!

   Slip and fall accidents are also evident in washrooms. Many accidents occur near bathtubs, sinks, and toilets where water on the floor or tiles is often overlooked. Controlling the water pressure from shower caps also means controlling the water that falls outside the bathtub.  Water may also accumulate in the bathtub as a result of hair accumulation near the drain of a missing bathtub drain cover. A tightly sealed drain cover or a malfunctioning drain cover lift mechanism might be raised with a ruler to avoid water accumulation in the bathtub. This water usually results in a slip and fall accident as soon as one climbs out of the shower. Bathtub injuries are often due to excess soap foam in the bathtub. This build-up can be prevented by using a properly installed soap stand. Shower drains are also culprits in these sip and fall disasters! An unlevelled shower drain due to replenishment of grout leads to dangerous metal edges of the drain exposed. Metal shower drains are also more slippery than some other consumer products available in the market. Shower curtain clips that do not hold the curtains as they fill up with water in a tub may result in water spills! These curtains easily come off the clips and spread water all over the washroom floors. that easily come off the Also, a bathtub handle may stop slip and fall in the tub. Other than bathtubs and shower areas, washroom sinks and countertops are also culprits in slip and fall accidents! A malfunctioning lift mechanism for washroom sink drain cover may lead to water accumulation and water spills on the floor eventually leading to accidents. Foam buildup from shaving cups or soaps on countertops also leads to accidents. A soap stand on washroom sinks especially in hotels and motels will not only prevent slip and fall as a result of excess foam buildup on and around the sink counter top but also reduce countertop damage caused by excess foam and water which result into thousands of dollars in replacement costs.

   Slip and fall accidents are evident in the kitchen. In the kitchen, sink faucet pressure is often an essential element in controlling water spills on the floor. This pressure may be controlled via changes in aerator design that lead to fewer water spills during a dishwashing session. Sink drain stoppers may also hold a key in fewer water spills on the kitchen countertop and floor leading to slip and fall accidents. Some sink drain stoppers are not only a hazard to slip and fall but a hazard to fingers due to the use of wire mesh that breaks from time to time. If these wire meshes are not replaced, they also result in to drain clogs and pipe clogs leading to thousands of dollars in replacements and plumbing labor expense!

   In conclusion, hazards from snow, ice, and water lead to accidents that can be avoided. One of the ways to successfully combat accidents and statistics is prevention! For example, preventing ice dams on roofs with an ice dam cable may save consumers roof damage and replacement costs that are in the thousands since roofs are the biggest investment in a residential structure. Preventing ice from forming on vehicle windshield may also help reduce gas usage and vehicle heating time!

Driver Safety

   Since the early 20th century, when the automobiles were invented there have been millions of road accidents claiming millions of lives and millions of dollars vehicle from collision damage. Many of these accidents require the cars to be trashed in the junkyard for parts. Some accidents are lucky enough to impact minimum collision damage to vehicles that can be repaired and placed for resale in car showrooms. However, the prices of these vehicles depreciate some quarter of the original price for the new buyer. The new buyer also pays high insurance fees and maintenance cost based on make, model, mileage, and conditions of these vehicles. Manufacturers are least to blame for careless driving or unfortunate circumstances that lead to most major accidents since there is no safety feature or material in the world that can stop metal and glass from penetrating the bare human body. Even Kevlar vests are only effective to some extent against bullets or metal projectiles that hit at high velocity. According to research, when a cadaver is tested with accelerometers for human brain strength, it can take a force of 400 G’s or tonne and a half for less than thousandths of a second before getting crushed. Most accident impacts last much longer than that either due to drunk driving, sleepy drivers, distracted drivers, bad weather, extreme road and traffic conditions etc. Since the early 60’s manufacturers have introduced all kinds of safety features to protect drivers from collision damage. Before cadavers, even apes and other animals were used to study internal organ injury from impact and design safety features. When a car hits an object, “the body goes flying”, “brain crashes inside the skull” and “organs crash inside the rib cage” due to high velocity. As a result, whiplash studies were carried out to study head impacts, neck and chest impacts and design safety features as per observation, conclusion, and analysis. Some of these safety features are as follows:

First of all, one of the safety features that have been designed and modified are steering columns. Steering columns were designed to absorb crash damage “at a force level that would not break ribs”. Then, windshields have been modified since the early automobiles. In the early days, the windshield was made of glass without any sort of impact protection which would lead to glass flying towards driver’s seat as a high-velocity projectile in an accident. Now the windshields are made of “laminated safety glass” with plastic lamination between 2 sheets of curved glass for impact resistance. Next, the “tow point belt system” across lap were replaced by 3 point belt system solution. The lap shoulder belt was designed after observations from the whiplash studies. Animal experiments confirmed that the rate of airbags deployment during impact also damaged the heart. Since then, airbags deployment standards have been improved. Also, side impacts were studied to have the most fatalities since the safety features are no good when the “metal (6 inches apart) impacts a 3000 to 4000-pound force to upper torso within 20 milliseconds”. It took about 10 years to develop a dummy for side impact studies which resulted in door padding as a safety feature. With new advances in science and technology, new safety features are constantly designed and improved for a safe ride.

    Though manufacturers have a long list of safety features in all vehicles, it is up to the vehicle consumers or the drivers to keep themselves and everyone else on the road safe in one piece. With emergency roadside assistance to air support for extreme crashes, drivers have a long list of services to keep them on the road and keep traffic flowing in case of an unfortunate accident. Consumer products also play a key role in keeping the roads safe and drivers covered. From collision damage insurance to the auto trader to sell cars involved in a collision, from CAA memberships to rental cars and from Bluetooth to apps all are services to give drivers and vehicle owners a sense of relief. Nevertheless, accidents are a common phenomenon. From kitchen accidents that result to fire to slip & fall accidents that result in fractures, accidents do happen from time to time and so research on consumer products and protection is on the rise.