Monthly Archives: April 2014

Are Nursing Homes Responsible When Residents Fall?

Are Nursing Homes Responsible when Residents Fall?
Elderly people are much frailer than younger people. As a result, they tend to fall more often and, after a fall, not heal as quickly. In fact, nearly 40 percent of all injuries to the elderly in the United States are the direct result of falls. Falls are the leading cause of accidental death among those over age 65.
The risk of falling is one of the main reasons that the elderly end up in assisted living or nursing homes. These facilities are supposed to account for this risk and minimize the chances of falling. Nonetheless, between half and three-quarters of all nursing home residents fall at least once each year.
When is this malpractice?
When Is Risk of Falling Addressed?
All assisted living facilities and nursing homes are obliged to properly assess the health and needs of each resident at intake, and to create and follow an individualized care plan that will adequately protect the health and safety of the resident. Failure to create such a care plan, or failure to regularly reassess and modify a plan, is negligence on the part of a facility and can be the basis for a lawsuit.
Hazards that Cause Falls
A resident’s care plan should consider all hazards that might contribute to falls.
Health hazards include a general loss of strength and balance, as well as problems with walking and mobility. Other factors include chronic health conditions, medications to treat those conditions (that can cause dizziness or poor reaction time), dementia, dehydration, foot problems and impaired vision.
Equipment hazards include poorly fitted or maintained wheelchairs, walkers and canes; bed and chair height, accessibility and safety; and bedrails and restraints (rarely used any more).

Environmental hazards, which can be within a unit or in public areas, include wet floors, poor lighting and clutter.
Ways to Prevent Falls
Assisted living and nursing home facilities can (and are expected to) address the likelihood of falls in many ways. They can address existing health, equipment and environmental hazards. They can prescribe a resident with a physical conditioning or rehabilitation to improve strength.
They can add adaptive devices like grab bars, especially by toilets and sinks. Beds can be lowered and toilets can be raised. Special pads on the floors in strategic spots (like near a bed) can cushion falls. Residents should have access to call buttons to seek assistance. Bed alarms can notify staff when a resident is trying to get in or out of bed without assistance. Staff should be trained in the proper techniques for transferring residents without dropping them or causing them to fall. Most importantly, perhaps the easiest way to prevent falls due to slippery wet floors is to have them treated with the Nano-Grip floor safety process. One simple treatment will assure that these floors are no longer slippery when they get wet. They are in fact safer wet than dry!
Be Alert for Signs of a Fall
When visiting a friend or relative, be attentive for bruises, cuts or other injuries that might have been caused by a fall. If you are suspicious that a fall has occurred, check. A fall and the resulting injury should be noted in the resident’s chart. Under federal law, a copy of the chart must be provided promptly (often within two business days) to a relative

.
Is It Medical Malpractice?
The success of a slip-and-fall injury lawsuit brought by an assisted living or nursing home resident depends on whether it was unavoidable and isolated, or whether it resulted from a failure of the facility to comply with legally required standards of care.
A nursing home might be at fault if it failed to pay attention to the needs of the resident, if there was not enough staff (there is a documented national shortage), if the staff was not properly trained in fall prevention, if the facility lacked the proper equipment to prevent falls, or if the facility didn’t take steps to rectify a problem, like slippery floors, that they were aware of.
Nano-Grip your floors before someone has to Call a Personal Injury Lawyer
The legal issues surrounding slip-and-fall injuries in assisted living and nursing home facilities can be complicated. Plus, the facts of each case and the laws in each state are unique. This article provides a brief, general introduction to the subject. It is not legal advice. For more detailed and specific information about your particular situation, please contact a personal injury lawyer.

Have your facility evaluated by a floor safety specialist who can measure and document the slip resistance of your floors. Call 855-687-0976 to be put in touch with a Nano-Grip representative in your area who can evaluate your situation and offer you an answer to your slip and fall problems.

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Some facts about the slip and fall problem in nursing homes.

Some facts about the slip and fall problem in nursing homes.

People move into nursing homes for a reason – whether they are advanced in age and/or in illness, they can no longer safely take care of themselves and anyone they may live with is simply not able to provide them with the care that they need. It is obviously not a happy day for someone when he or she moves into an assisted living facility, but those who take this step have every right to expect that they will be given the proper level of supervision to the point where they are kept safe.
Unfortunately, that is not always what happens, and one of the biggest and perhaps most overlooked dangers relating to living in nursing homes is slip and fall accidents. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the CDC, compiles statistics that relate to illnesses and injuries in the United States, and that data collection includes slip and fall accidents in nursing homes. Below are 10 surprising facts regarding these specific incidents.
1. Exploding Population
The first noteworthy statistic regarding slip and fall accidents in nursing homes is that it could happen more often in the future. The number of nursing home residents in the United States will nearly double by 2030.
2. Imbalanced Ratio
Approximately 5 percent of adults who are at least 65 years old live in nursing homes, but they account for 20 percent of the deaths of older Americans resulting from slip and fall accidents.
3. More Falls Than Beds
Every year, nursing homes with an average of 100 beds report anywhere between 100 and 200 slip and fall accidents.
4. Twice As Dangerous?
Between 50 and 75 percent of nursing home residents slip and fall every year, which is twice the rate of older adults living in other places.
5. More Than Once
The average nursing home resident falls 2.6 times every year.
6. Not Walking
More than one-third of nursing home residents injured in slip and fall accidents were unable to walk when the incident occurred.
7. Fatalities
Approximately 1,800 nursing home residents are killed every year in slip and fall accidents.
8. Injury Rate
Between 10 and 20 percent of slip and fall accidents in nursing homes result in what are described as serious injuries.
9. Patient Problems
Nearly one-fourth of nursing home residents who fall every year do so because they have physical problems that make walking unsafe.
10. Environmental Hazards
Hazards such as wet floors or poor lighting cause between 16 and 27 percent of slip and fall accidents in nursing homes every year.
The incidence of slip/fall events can be reduced greatly through the use of the Nano-Grip floor safety process. Immediately after the application of the product floors become non-slip when they are wet. In fact the floor is actually safer wet than dry, without any change to its appearance.
Floors treated with the Nano-Grip process will meet or exceed industry and government standards for floor safety.
For an evaluation of your facilities floors call 1-855-687-0976 for a referral to an independent Nano-Grip applicator.

Marble and Granite

Marble and granite are natural materials that are both beautiful, and very slippery and dangerous when wet.
The Nano-Grip process can make these surfaces safer when they are wet, however due to the differences discussed here, different treatment strategies are used.
More facilities are installing marble and granite floors today than years ago. There are two primary reasons for this:
1. The cost of marble and granite has come down now that these materials are being quarried in more areas of the world.
2. It is very durable. If cared for properly, marble and granite can literally last for centuries.
Marble is a soft stone made of metamorphic rock containing calcium carbonate. This means it will react, and potentially be damaged, if the solution used to treat it is too strong.

On the other hand, granite, made from igneous rock, is a very hard stone. Stronger solutions can be used on granite and, when used properly, will not damage its surface.
Scratch test: A “scratch test” helps identify floor hardness. It identifies how resistant a mineral is to abrasion. It is performed just as it sounds. Minerals are rubbed against each other; the one that scratches is softer than the mineral that caused the scratch.

Luster: This does not necessarily refer to how shiny the floor is, but more specifically how it reflects light from its surface. A highly polished stone floor will typically have a very high luster.

Cleavage: This term refers to how the mineral breaks or fractures. Some minerals, when they break, will have only one cleavage. Others may have two, three, or more.

 

Nano-Grip applicators should refer to their installation manuals for recommended dilutions and procedures.

Current Slip and Fall Measurements and Regulations*

*Current as of April 2014, major OSHA change expected by June.

Slip and Fall Measurements and Regulations
Measuring Friction:

Friction is the action of one surface or object rubbing against another. There are two primary types of friction: dynamic friction and static friction. Dynamic friction is the friction between two moving surfaces or objects. Static friction is the friction between two objects that are not moving.
ANSI/NFSI:
ANSI (American National Standard Institute) was founded in 1918 with the mission “to enhance both the global competitiveness of U.S. business and the U.S. quality of life by promoting and facilitating voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment systems, and safeguarding their integrity.” ANSI oversees the creation, promulgation and use of thousands of norms and guidelines that directly impact businesses in nearly every sector: from acoustical devices to construction equipment, from dairy and livestock production to energy distribution, and many more.

The NFSI (National Floor Safety Institute) is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization. NFSI was founded in 1997 with the intention of preventing slip and fall accidents by educating the public and businesses through informative programming, research, training and product certification. NFSI certifies flooring materials, coatings, chemical floor-cleaning products, and treatments. NFSI also offers classroom training programs and Walkway Auditor Certification (WAC).

ANSI/NFSI Standards:
ANSI and NFSI have devised various detailed standards for measuring the Coefficient of Friction (COF) of a surface.

B101.1 ANSI/NFSI Standard: Test Method for Measuring Wet SCOF of Common Hard-Surface Floor Materials.
B101.3 ANSI/NFSI Standard: Test Method for Measuring Wet DCOF of Common Hard-Surface Floor Materials (Including Action and Limit Thresholds for the Suitable Assessment of the Measured Values).
B101.5 ANSI/NFSI Standard: Standard Guide for Uniform Labeling Method for Identifying the Wet Static Coefficient of Friction (Traction) of Floor Coverings, Floor Coverings with Coatings, and Treated Floor Coverings.
ANSI/ASSE A1264.2 Standard: This standard sets forth provisions for protecting persons where there is potential for slipping and falling as a result of surface characteristics or conditions. There are three basic areas addressed in the standard: 1) provisions for reducing hazards; 2) test procedures and equipment; and 3) slip resistance guideline. The intent of this standard is to help in the reduction of falls due to conditions, which in some fashion are manageable. The standard in its present form provides for the minimum performance requirements necessary for increased safety on walking/working surfaces in the workplace.
ADA:
The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990 to guarantee equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The ADA made it illegal to discriminate on the basis of disability in employment, transportation, telecommunications, state and local government and public accommodations. In 2003 the ADA advisory on surface conditions issued “Bulletin 4” which recommended a static coefficient of friction (SCOF) value of 0.6 for level surfaces and .8 for ramps and inclined surfaces.

OSHA:
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was founded in 1970 with the mission to “assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.” OSHA does NOT currently have any published standards regarding slip resistance; however OSHA inspectors can issue citations to businesses and property owners for excessively slippery floors.

OSHA standards are widely expected to be changing in June of 2014. Based on testimony given before congress in 2012, where representatives of NFSI provided information, the new standards will change the way floors are rated for slip resistance and will include new measurement and reporting requirements. This standard was initially scheduled for release in June of 2013 but that release was delayed.

Slip and Fall Measurements and Regulations

Measuring Friction:

ADA OSHA Slip Regulations

Friction is the action of one surface or object rubbing against another. There are two primary types of friction: dynamic friction and static friction. Dynamic friction is the friction between two moving surfaces or objects. Static friction is the friction between two objects that are not moving. 

ANSI/NFSI:

ANSI (American National Standard Institute) was founded in 1918 with the mission “to enhance both the global competitiveness of U.S. business and the U.S. quality of life by promoting and facilitating voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment systems, and safeguarding their integrity.” ANSI oversees the creation, promulgation and use of thousands of norms and guidelines that directly impact businesses in nearly every sector: from acoustical devices to construction equipment, from dairy and livestock production to energy distribution, and many more.

The NFSI (National Floor Safety Institute) is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization. NFSI was founded in 1997 with the intention of preventing slip and fall accidents by educating the public and businesses through informative programming, research, training and product certification. NFSI certifies flooring materials, coatings, chemical floor-cleaning products, and treatments. NFSI also offers classroom training programs and Walkway Auditor Certification (WAC).

ANSI/NFSI Standards:

ANSI and NFSI have devised various detailed standards for measuring the Coefficient of Friction (COF) of a surface.

B101.1 ANSI/NFSI Standard: Test Method for Measuring Wet SCOF of Common Hard-Surface Floor Materials.
B101.3 ANSI/NFSI Standard: Test Method for Measuring Wet DCOF of Common Hard-Surface Floor Materials (Including Action and Limit Thresholds for the Suitable Assessment of the Measured Values).
B101.5 ANSI/NFSI Standard: Standard Guide for Uniform Labeling Method for Identifying the Wet Static Coefficient of Friction (Traction) of Floor Coverings, Floor Coverings with Coatings, and Treated Floor Coverings.

ANSI/ASSE A1264.2 Standard: This standard sets forth provisions for protecting persons where there is potential for slipping and falling as a result of surface characteristics or conditions. There are three basic areas addressed in the standard: 1) provisions for reducing hazards; 2) test procedures and equipment; and 3) slip resistance guideline. The intent of this standard is to help in the reduction of falls due to conditions, which in some fashion are manageable. The standard in its present form provides for the minimum performance requirements necessary for increased safety on walking/working surfaces in the workplace.

ADA:

The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990 to guarantee equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The ADA made it illegal to discriminate on the basis of disability in employment, transportation, telecommunications, state and local government and public accommodations. In 2003 the ADA advisory on surface conditions issued “Bulletin 4” which recommended a static coefficient of friction (SCOF) value of 0.6 for level surfaces and .8 for ramps and inclined surfaces.

OSHA:

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was founded in 1970 with the mission to “assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.” OSHA does NOT currently have any published standards regarding slip resistance; however OSHA inspectors can issue citations to businesses and property owners for excessively slippery floors.

– See more at: http://slipdoctors.com/slip-measurements-regulations.asp#sthash.MxzucfK8.dpuf

Slip and Fall Measurements and Regulations

Measuring Friction:

ADA OSHA Slip Regulations

Friction is the action of one surface or object rubbing against another. There are two primary types of friction: dynamic friction and static friction. Dynamic friction is the friction between two moving surfaces or objects. Static friction is the friction between two objects that are not moving. 

ANSI/NFSI:

ANSI (American National Standard Institute) was founded in 1918 with the mission “to enhance both the global competitiveness of U.S. business and the U.S. quality of life by promoting and facilitating voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment systems, and safeguarding their integrity.” ANSI oversees the creation, promulgation and use of thousands of norms and guidelines that directly impact businesses in nearly every sector: from acoustical devices to construction equipment, from dairy and livestock production to energy distribution, and many more.

The NFSI (National Floor Safety Institute) is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization. NFSI was founded in 1997 with the intention of preventing slip and fall accidents by educating the public and businesses through informative programming, research, training and product certification. NFSI certifies flooring materials, coatings, chemical floor-cleaning products, and treatments. NFSI also offers classroom training programs and Walkway Auditor Certification (WAC).

ANSI/NFSI Standards:

ANSI and NFSI have devised various detailed standards for measuring the Coefficient of Friction (COF) of a surface.

B101.1 ANSI/NFSI Standard: Test Method for Measuring Wet SCOF of Common Hard-Surface Floor Materials.
B101.3 ANSI/NFSI Standard: Test Method for Measuring Wet DCOF of Common Hard-Surface Floor Materials (Including Action and Limit Thresholds for the Suitable Assessment of the Measured Values).
B101.5 ANSI/NFSI Standard: Standard Guide for Uniform Labeling Method for Identifying the Wet Static Coefficient of Friction (Traction) of Floor Coverings, Floor Coverings with Coatings, and Treated Floor Coverings.

ANSI/ASSE A1264.2 Standard: This standard sets forth provisions for protecting persons where there is potential for slipping and falling as a result of surface characteristics or conditions. There are three basic areas addressed in the standard: 1) provisions for reducing hazards; 2) test procedures and equipment; and 3) slip resistance guideline. The intent of this standard is to help in the reduction of falls due to conditions, which in some fashion are manageable. The standard in its present form provides for the minimum performance requirements necessary for increased safety on walking/working surfaces in the workplace.

ADA:

The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990 to guarantee equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The ADA made it illegal to discriminate on the basis of disability in employment, transportation, telecommunications, state and local government and public accommodations. In 2003 the ADA advisory on surface conditions issued “Bulletin 4” which recommended a static coefficient of friction (SCOF) value of 0.6 for level surfaces and .8 for ramps and inclined surfaces.

OSHA:

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was founded in 1970 with the mission to “assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.” OSHA does NOT currently have any published standards regarding slip resistance; however OSHA inspectors can issue citations to businesses and property owners for excessively slippery floors.

– See more at: http://slipdoctors.com/slip-measurements-regulations.asp#sthash.MxzucfK8.dpuf

Slip and Fall Measurements and Regulations

Measuring Friction:

ADA OSHA Slip Regulations

Friction is the action of one surface or object rubbing against another. There are two primary types of friction: dynamic friction and static friction. Dynamic friction is the friction between two moving surfaces or objects. Static friction is the friction between two objects that are not moving. 

ANSI/NFSI:

ANSI (American National Standard Institute) was founded in 1918 with the mission “to enhance both the global competitiveness of U.S. business and the U.S. quality of life by promoting and facilitating voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment systems, and safeguarding their integrity.” ANSI oversees the creation, promulgation and use of thousands of norms and guidelines that directly impact businesses in nearly every sector: from acoustical devices to construction equipment, from dairy and livestock production to energy distribution, and many more.

The NFSI (National Floor Safety Institute) is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization. NFSI was founded in 1997 with the intention of preventing slip and fall accidents by educating the public and businesses through informative programming, research, training and product certification. NFSI certifies flooring materials, coatings, chemical floor-cleaning products, and treatments. NFSI also offers classroom training programs and Walkway Auditor Certification (WAC).

ANSI/NFSI Standards:

ANSI and NFSI have devised various detailed standards for measuring the Coefficient of Friction (COF) of a surface.

B101.1 ANSI/NFSI Standard: Test Method for Measuring Wet SCOF of Common Hard-Surface Floor Materials.
B101.3 ANSI/NFSI Standard: Test Method for Measuring Wet DCOF of Common Hard-Surface Floor Materials (Including Action and Limit Thresholds for the Suitable Assessment of the Measured Values).
B101.5 ANSI/NFSI Standard: Standard Guide for Uniform Labeling Method for Identifying the Wet Static Coefficient of Friction (Traction) of Floor Coverings, Floor Coverings with Coatings, and Treated Floor Coverings.

ANSI/ASSE A1264.2 Standard: This standard sets forth provisions for protecting persons where there is potential for slipping and falling as a result of surface characteristics or conditions. There are three basic areas addressed in the standard: 1) provisions for reducing hazards; 2) test procedures and equipment; and 3) slip resistance guideline. The intent of this standard is to help in the reduction of falls due to conditions, which in some fashion are manageable. The standard in its present form provides for the minimum performance requirements necessary for increased safety on walking/working surfaces in the workplace.

ADA:

The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990 to guarantee equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The ADA made it illegal to discriminate on the basis of disability in employment, transportation, telecommunications, state and local government and public accommodations. In 2003 the ADA advisory on surface conditions issued “Bulletin 4” which recommended a static coefficient of friction (SCOF) value of 0.6 for level surfaces and .8 for ramps and inclined surfaces.

OSHA:

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was founded in 1970 with the mission to “assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.” OSHA does NOT currently have any published standards regarding slip resistance; however OSHA inspectors can issue citations to businesses and property owners for excessively slippery floors.

– See more at: http://slipdoctors.com/slip-measurements-regulations.asp#sthash.MxzucfK8.dpuf

As ‘slip and fall’ lawsuits blossom basic items become dangerous hazards

 

As this article which appeared in the Tampa Bay Times illustrates, there are many conditions which contribute to an unsafe, slippery floor. The Nano-Grip process creates a microscopic, invisible tread pattern on the floor which renders it “safer wet than dry”. Nano-Grip applicators can test a floors SCOF (static coefficient of friction) level to determine whether or not the floor conforms to industry and legal standards for safety. If  it falls below safe standards the applicator can apply the Nano-Grip treatment, bring the floor into compliance, and certify that the floor has been made safe. To arrange a free consultation call 855-687-0976.

As ‘slip and fall’ lawsuits blossom, basic items become dangerous hazards

Consumers beware: Hand sanitizer, fried potatoes, champagne, napkins, urine and a host of other everyday substances are lurking to land you on your keister.
At least that’s what it feels like plowing through a pile of “slip and fall” lawsuits filed in Hillsborough and Pinellas courts. In these filings, everyday items become hazards blamed for causing people across Tampa Bay to slip, fall and suffer injuries in places ranging from an Outback Steakhouse restaurant and Target store to a museum and skateboard park.
The lawsuits claim owner negligence.
No doubt the recent recession aggravated things. Businesses pressed by hard times grew less vigilant about cleaning floors or warning customers of hazards. On the flip side, financially struggling patrons smelled opportunity in slippery floor mishaps.
But, come on, people. Reading some of these lawsuits, it’s a wonder any of us make it through the day without contemplating litigation against somebody for something.
“Slip and fall” lawsuits is a loaded phrase. It reeks of too many TV-hyped lawyers seeking plaintiffs to sue over basic accidents. But let’s be fair: Not all such legal claims are undeserving.
Frivolous or legit? You can get a sense from this sampling of recent cases:
• Angelina Nepa says she slipped on hand sanitizer and fell while at the Glazer Children’s Museum this summer. She says she “neither saw the hand sanitizer nor any cautionary signs before she fell.”
• Shopper Khaduah Nashagh says she was at a Tampa Walmart when she slipped and fell on a “fried potato” near the cash register. Nashagh says she sustained permanent injuries and a reduced ability to lead a normal life or earn money.
• Nearing his 76th birthday, Palmetto resident Carl Miller joined his family for dinner at an Outback Steakhouse in Plant City. Waiting for a table at the bar, Miller reached for his beverage when his bar stool allegedly slipped on a floor covered with grease. He fell backward and broke his neck. He died two weeks later.
• Nancijane McHenry says she was at a Target in Brandon when she slipped on what she thought was urine and fell. She allegedly suffered hospitalization, medical expenses, and a loss of earnings.
• Randy McAdoo says he was skateboarding at the SkatePark of Tampa when an unnamed employee began spraying champagne. McAdoo alleges he was seriously injured when he slipped and fell on the bubbly brew.
• Rocio Doherty was at the Acropolis in Riverview when its staff began dancing and “negligently and dangerously” tossing napkins into the air, as they do at all of the Greek restaurant chain’s locations. While the staff typically sweeps up afterward, Doherty later slipped on a stray napkin and suffered “severe” injuries, including a fractured kneecap that required two surgeries.
Proving negligence is no slam dunk. Did the owner fail to clean up a slippery floor in a timely manner or was there simply insufficient time to do so before the fall? Could a reasonable customer see a floor hazard and be more responsible to avoid slipping?
Sometimes it really boils down to being more careful out there.
See you in court.