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Proper cleaning can help prevent slip-and-fall accidents

Now that the holiday season is in full swing, countless residents of New Orleans are likely to be briskly entering and leaving retail stores. For many, this is an annual experience that they don't think much about, other than pondering where to get the best deals or where to find that perfect gift. For the owners and managers of these stores, though, customer safety is usually a priority. It is their responsibility for keeping property safe amidst the holiday hustle and bustle.

One of the most common issues for retail store owners is preventing slip-and-fall accidents, especially during the wet winter months but also year-round. A slip-and-fall can result in injuries to a customer, disruption to a business and potentially premises liability litigation. Thus, those tasked with maintaining safe retail environments can benefit from brushing up on the best ways to keep floors safe throughout the year.

What is the root cause of a slip-and-fall accident? Scientifically, it is the absence of traction between a customer's foot and the floor below. This simple yet dangerous fact can lead to broken bones and worse for those unlucky enough to experience an unexpected fall. However, much of the time, lack of traction can be prevented by proper cleaning procedures. One common problem is using an all-purpose cleaner when a safer choice is a cleaning solution designed specifically for the type of flooring. While all-purpose cleansers might save a store money, they may not truly be "all-purpose" in the sense that they can damage some flooring or cause a hazardous film to remain on the floor.

It's also important to use all cleaning products as directed. As anyone who has mopped their floors at home probably knows already, using too much cleaning solution on a floor can result in extremely slick surfaces. Using too much cleaner can also strip the surface of a floor, making it more slippery, or it can cause ironically cause additional dirt and debris to build up which can also prove unsafe.

No one wants to be a negligent property owner, but inadvertently overlooking proper cleaning procedures can result in someone getting hurt. Those who have experienced slips and falls in retail environments can speak with a New Orleans premises liability attorney for legal advice and information about pursuing compensation for damages.

Source: Occupational Health and Safety, "Review floor maintenance procedures to reduce slip and fall incidents," Karen D. Hamel, Dec. 1, 2015

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