By Forensic Engineering Firm, McDowell Owens
People slip, trip and fall on a regular basis – but who is to blame? Was it the person’s carelessness or lack of attention to where they were going? Or were there other factors that led to or contributed to the incident?
Common areas where people slip, trip and fall include floors and stairs. Contributing factors include: inadequate warning of a hazardous condition, such as wet floors or recently waxed floors, torn, bulging areas or uplifted corners of carpet, and protrusions or irregularities in the floor such as receptacles or transitions. When the incident involves stairs, additional factors may include missing, loose or improperly installed handrails, debris or even the design of the steps may cause a person to slip or trip when they step on them.
Slip, trip and fall incidents occur outdoors as well; however, other external factors may contribute to the incident, such as ice or snow, water, inadequate lighting and improperly marked curbs and ramps.
In addition to the physical conditions of the surface and location, analysis of the incident is compounded with human interaction. Was the person carrying items that obstructed their view? Were they talking on their cell phone and not paying attention to where they were going?
The engineers at McDowell Owens analyze the location of the incident, all the contributing factors and human interaction that may have led to the incident, in order to clearly explain what happened and why.