Tag Archives: Safety Tips

Slip and Fall Accidents – A Leading Cause of Disability and Death

caution signSlip, trip, and fall accidents are more common than many people realize. Slip and fall accidents can lead to disability and even death. Victims of slip and fall accidents often miss work, have to receive ongoing medical treatment, and experience pain due to their accident. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, fall accidents are the leading cause of injuries that result in hospital emergency room visits. Fall accidents account for more than eight million emergency room visits in the U.S. each year, with slip and fall accidents accounting for approximately 12 percent of those emergency room visits.

The NFSI website provides an extensive list of quick facts about fall accidents in the U.S. Some of the facts include:

• Fractures are generally the most serious consequences of falls and occur in 5% of all people who fall.
• Floors and flooring materials contribute to more than 2 million fall injuries each year.
• Over 60% of nursing home residents will fall each year.
• 85% of worker’s compensation claims are attributed to employees slipping on slick floors.
• Falls occur in all manufacturing and service sectors. Fatal falls most commonly occur in construction, mining, and certain maintenance activities.
• See the full list of quick facts from the NFSI here: http://nfsi.org/nfsi-research/quick-facts/

Some of these statistics are shocking, especially since many falls can be prevented. Fall accidents can happen in almost any location, so by avoiding slip and fall hazards, you can decrease the risk of an accident. Avoid or take extra precautions when you observe the following things:

• Loose rugs or rippled carpeting
• Wet or greasy floors
• Clutter in walkways and doorways
• Electrical cords and cables on the ground
• Poor lighting conditions
• Icy or snowy paths and sidewalks
• Poorly maintained sidewalks and stairways
• Safety code violations

While not all slip and fall accidents warrant hiring an attorney, many accidents can be due to the negligence or actions of others. If you or someone you know has been injured in a slip and fall accident, contact Davis & Gelshenen LLP at 1-866-427-2121 for a free initial consultation with one of our Experienced, Trusted, and Recommended Personal Injury Attorneys. Davis & Gelshenen LLP handles cases throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, and North Carolina and will meet with you at your home to discuss your case.

Two Wisconsin Deaths Bring the Total Bicycle Fatalities to Highest Since ’90s

black bikeA Milwaukee bicyclist recently died after being hit by a motor vehicle, bringing the total Wisconsin bicycle fatalities to 15 for the year. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the number of bicycle fatalities this year is the highest annual total since 1999, when 18 deaths were recorded.

The total number of bicycle fatalities this year is an alarming difference from last year, when only 4 bicycle fatalities were recorded in Wisconsin. Although the circumstances and responsibility vary with each accident, about 60% of adult bicycle crashes are the result of motorist error, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. The most common motorist error is making a left turn across the path of an oncoming bicycle. The most common error among bicyclists is riding the wrong way in traffic. To decrease the amount of bicycle crashes and fatalities, everyone on the road must follow the rules of the road, stay alert, and always be aware of their surroundings.

Bicycle Safety Reminders

black bikeDuring summer months, more people opt to use bicycles for transportation. Some bike to work, while others bike for recreation. No matter how long you have biked, why you bike, or where you bike, it is important to brush up on bicycle safety.
• Always wear a properly fitted helmet
• Check your equipment – Use the correct bike for the terrain, check tire pressure and brakes, and make sure your seat is at a proper height.
• Make yourself visible – Wear bright or reflective clothing, add lights and reflective tape to your bike, and use a bell or horn to alert pedestrians and drivers if you are passing nearby.
• Follow the rules of the road – Use turn signals, go with the traffic flow, obey traffic laws, yield to traffic appropriately, stay alert, and always look before turning or moving out of the bike lane.
• Avoid road hazards – Lookout for potholes, broken glass, gravel, storm grates, puddles, railroad tracks, etc.
• Avoid distractions – Do not talk or text on a phone while riding a bike, do not drink and ride, and always ride with at least one hand on the handlebars.
• Dress appropriately – Always wear comfortable shoes. Wear sunglasses, bike gloves, rain gear, etc. based on the weather conditions.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides in-depth tips and information for bicyclists. Find additional resources here: http://www.nhtsa.gov/Bicycles

Keeping Sidewalks Safe During Winter

icysidewalkDuring snowy and icy winters, sidewalks can be a dangerous place, especially for the elderly, children, and those with physical limitations. Businesses and public establishments are responsible for maintaining safe walking areas.

If you have a sidewalk or walkway on your personal property, laws and ordinances about snow removal can vary by city and state. Snow removal regulations are made to prevent injuries, as well as to prevent any legal issues that could arise. You don’t want to find yourself liable for an injury that occurs on or near your property, so it is important to take the following steps to make your property safe:

Stock Up & Prepare. If you are a homeowner, you should be prepared to look after your premises. In the beginning of winter, stock up with equipment and supplies that you need, so that you will be ready when the first snow falls.

Shovel Right Away.  If possible, shovel soon after any snow has fallen. This may mean shoveling multiple times, but it will be easier on your arms and back if you shovel lighter, less packed down snow.

Use Salt. Salt prevents ice from forming. However, it won’t go through thick snow, so make sure to shovel first. Other materials such as sand and kitty litter can produce similar results to salt.

Get More Tools. Brooms, ice breakers, and snow blowers can help make certain tasks easier. A broom can help dust snow away to reveal ice or other hazards. An ice breaker or snow blower can be favorable when the snow is thick, wet, and heavy.

Ask for Help. If you have physical limitations, do not risk harm by trying to clear snow yourself. If you are unable to clear your sidewalk, ask a family member, friend, or neighbor to lend a hand. You could also hire someone to do the job.

Doing these simple acts could prevent injuries, fines, and lawsuits. Keep up to date about your local snow removal ordinances by checking your state’s website.

Keeping Trick-or-Treaters Safe

Stock PhotoIt’s that time of the year! The temperatures are getting cooler, leaves are falling, and Halloween is approaching! Dressing up, going door to door, and eating yummy treats is fun for children of all ages, but can also be dangerous. Due to the excitement of trick-or-treating, children tend to be less careful and can move in unpredictable ways. On average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit and killed by a car on Halloween, compared to any other day of the year. Whether you are going trick-or-treating with young children, or you have older children who are going on their own, we want to provide you with some tips to keep the festivities safe for your trick-or-treaters.

Costume Safety

  • Costumes should be comfortable and weather appropriate. Halloween temperatures can get chilly, so make sure your child wears layers.
  • Masks, clothes, and shoes should fit well to avoid blocked vision, trips, or falls.
  • Costume accessories such as swords, canes, or knives should be short, dull, and flexible.
  • Light or bright colored costumes stand out to drivers. Add reflective tape to children’s costumes to ensure that drivers will see them.
  • Costumes should be flame resistant.
  • Test costume make-up on a small area before fully applying. Costume make-up should be removed after trick-or-treating to avoid skin irritation.
  • Avoid decorative contact lenses. They pose a risk for eye injury and infection.

Neighborhood Safety

  • Tell children to avoid going near any lit candles or jack o’ lanterns.
  • Give children flashlights to help them see and make them more visible to drivers.
  • Do not allow children to go trick-or-treating alone. Make sure they walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
  • Children should only visit well-lit houses.
  • Help plan a safe route of areas you know well, and agree on a specific time for children to be home.
  • Make sure children know that they should walk (never run) from house to house, always look both ways before crossing the street, and use crosswalks and sidewalks wherever possible.
  • Teach children to make eye contact with drivers and wait for them to wave before crossing in front of any cars.
  • Children should never enter a stranger’s house or accept rides from strangers.
  • Make sure your children have a way of contacting you if they need to. Either give the adult they are with your phone number or lend your child a cell phone for the night.

Treat Safety

  • Children should not snack while they are out trick-or-treating. Ask children to wait until they get home, so that you can inspect the contents of their goody bag before they dig in.
  • To prevent children from snacking, give them a meal or snack beforehand.
  • Only allow children to eat factory-wrapped treats. Avoid homemade treats from strangers.
  • Examine all treats for choking hazards before giving them to children. Parents of young children should remove items such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, and small toys.
  • Examine all treats for signs of tampering such as any discoloration, unusual appearances, tiny holes, or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.
  • Limit the amount of treats children eat. Incorporate healthy food to balance out their diet if they eat large quantities of sugar.

Davis & Gelshenen LLP would like to wish you a happy and healthy Halloween!

Stay Safe On Your Bicycle this Fall

Please remember to follow these cycling safety tips from Davis & Gelshenen:

  1. Have the correct bike for the terrain you’re  biking on.
  2. Make sure that when you purchase your bicycle, you get fitted appropriately.
  3. Buy the right gear.  This includes a helmet, front and back bike lights, bright or reflective clothing, comfortable shoes, bike gloves, and sunglasses.
  4. Check your bike’s tire pressure and brakes before every ride.
  5. Know the rules of the road and use turn signals.
  6. Never Drink and Ride.
  7. Never talk on a cell phone while riding.

If you have been in an accident on your bicycle as a result of someone’s negligence, contact Davis & Gelshenen for a free consultation at 866-421-2121 or email us at ddavis@dgattorneys.com.