Woman Slips at Goodwill on a Cintas Mat – Why The Proper Use of Mats and Runners is Crucial
In 2012, a woman, age 83, was shopping in Goodwill when she pushed a cart over a floor mat at one of the cash registers. The Mat turned up and buckled causing her to trip and fall over it. She sustained serious and permanent injuries due to the fall. The company, Cintas, owned the mats and was hired by Goodwill to place the mats, choose the locations of the mats and maintain the mats condition. Glisson Law represented the injured individual and successfully settled the case in our client’s favor.
Mats and runners are used to prevent slip and falls in commercial and residential buildings. They have shown to be extremely beneficial if used correctly.
However, if they are not replaced periodically, put in the correct places, or stored or cleaned properly they can cause the same thing they are there to prevent.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, trip and falls account for “15% of all accidental deaths.” It is the “2nd leading cause [of accidental death] behind motor vehicles”.
Many of these slip and falls, however, could have been prevented.
The American National Standard Institute put together a list of crucial things to constantly keep in mind about mats and runners to keep your customers safe.
Floor mats and/or runners…shall be at building entries and in areas where it may be foreseen that operations may encounter contaminants on floor surfaces that are not considered sufficiently slip resistant.
…When selecting mats, consideration should be given to the slip resistance properties of the backing (to prevent sliding of the mat) and height profile (to reduce the potential for tripping).
Mats and runners shall be installed and maintained not to move when in use. Mats and runners without slip resistant backing can be hazardous to users. While all mats and runners creep, they should not slide or buckle.
When practical, a single larger mat should be used instead of multiple smaller mats… There are fewer gaps and less potential for overlap when using a larger mat, thus reducing these potential tripping hazards.
Mats and runners shall be laid out to avoid overlap or gaps between them to provide a continuous walkway
Inspection and Maintenance
Mats and runners shall be routinely inspected.
Storage and Care
Mats and runners will be stored in a way that allows them to lie flat during use.
Cleaning and Trade-out
To maintain effective soil pickup and track control, and slip resistance, mats shall receive scheduled cleanings or tradeoff of appropriate frequency based on the conditions to which they are subject.”
If you are injured in a slip and fall get the help you deserve, today. We have worked with multiple cases just like yours. Schedule your free consultation at 618.462.1077.