Slip and fall accidents are no joke – falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injury. The CDC also says that one in five falls results in a serious injury. The least you’ll get away with is a bruise, but the risk for an injury that will put you out of work is high.
While it’s best you avoid slipping and falling anywhere you are, you have to be more careful in a grocery store aisle. It presents serious risks to shoppers, especially if they’re not mindful of your surroundings when shopping.
To stay safe while buying groceries, read our guide below on how to avoid accidents.
Common Causes of Injury
Depending on the cause of the accident, the injury can be quite severe. Around 5% of slip-and-fall cases end up in a fracture, which is one of the most serious effects of such accidents. In rare cases, the injury can be fatal, too.
To be better at avoiding an accident, know the common causes of injuries first below.
1. Uneven Flooring and Obstruction
Wear and tear on the flooring can cause trip hazards. The floor might have cracked or a part of the carpet might be sticking out. This causes
Any obstructive items on the floor are also a common cause of slips and falls. Shoppers who aren’t paying attention might collide with or trip on these items.
Examples are carts left behind by other buyers, a product that has fallen from the shelf, pallets, boxes of products, trailing cables, and so on.
2. Slippery Floors
Spilled food and drinks cause slippery floors when not cleaned up right away. Unfortunately, it’s quite common because of the number of people who eat and drink while shopping. Drinks are more dangerous because they can still leave behind a sticky surface even when mopped.
The store itself may be the reason for the slippery floor, though. Its freezers might leak and meat, fruits, and vegetables might also drip.
When a staff member cleans the floor, it can also become a hazard while it’s still wet. As such, there should be a warning sign present.
3. Lack of Warning Signs
Employees must put a sign when there are slip and fall hazards they can’t remove right away or when they’ve recently cleaned and waxed the floor.
When negligence comes into play, however, a sign may not be present at all. In this case, shoppers who aren’t too aware of their surroundings may slip and fall.
Sometimes, it’s not the lack of care on the employees’ part that explains the absence of a warning sign. A buyer may have spilled a drink, for instance, and then another buyer walked right through. This doesn’t give enough time for an employee to clean the floor or put up a sign.
How to Avoid Getting an Injury in the Grocery Store Aisle
If you’re ever involved in slip and fall accidents, you have to take some steps to get proper compensation. However, the compensation isn’t always worth the fall, so the best thing to do is to avoid it altogether.
Here’s how to avoid falling and slipping while shopping in the grocery store.
1. Pay Attention to the Floor
As you can see above, most of the causes of injury in grocery stores are because of the floor. An uneven floor, spilled drinks, and freshly cleaned floors are high-risk, and more so if you’re not paying attention.
Because you can’t always expect a warning sign for any flooring issue, you should take it upon yourself to always watch out for spills or anything that might trip you. Squeaky clean floors are nice to look at, but be careful with your strides as it might cause you to slip.
Look at the products while you’re stopped, but look at the floor when you’re walking.
2. Wear Comfortable Footwear
It’s hard enough to walk back and forth the aisles in high heels. Imagine wearing it with all the slip and fall hazards in grocery stores.
As much as possible, wear a pair of footwear you’re comfortable with. It helps you avoid puddles and slippery surfaces in an instant, while heels can be hard to maneuver in, especially while pushing a cart. Aside from that, it helps you avoid achy feet at the end of your trip to the grocery.
If you have a pair, wear one with rubber soles. It gives you better footing, which can make you immune to the effects of a freshly cleaned floor.
3. Watch Out for Playful Kids and Other Buyers
It’s not only the floor you have to watch out for. Although it’s not quite common as the ones on the list above, other people in the store are still a major contributor to slip and fall accidents in a grocery store aisle.
If you’re not aware of your surroundings, you might collide with other buyers who are also unaware of theirs. This happens often in a grocery store because patrons are often focused on the shelves.
Parents who are likewise too focused on their grocery list might also be unaware of what their kids are doing. For this reason, playful children running through the aisles are also common. Watch out for such to avoid a collision.
4. Be Careful in Parking Lots and Bathrooms
The risks of slipping and falling are also present in the parking lot and bathroom of the store. In the parking lot, floors may have cracks, potholes, and raised pavement. These are major trip hazards, so you have to be careful about the flooring outside the grocery store, as well.
Sometimes, the risk may even be greater because of the purchases you’re carrying. This might obscure your vision on the ground.
Bathrooms can also pose more risks than a grocery store aisle. It’s common for the floor to be wet in such an environment. Then, you have to be careful of toilet paper and trash other people might have left behind.
Know What to Do When You Get in an Accident
Even if you are extra cautious, accidents in the grocery store aisle can still happen. In this instance, you better know what to do because an injury can be expensive to treat. Not to mention the income you’ll lose while you’re out of work.
Of course, handling with this type of injury is only the beginning. Feel free to read our guides here to discover more tips and tricks to stay safe!