Everyone knows slip fall accidents are expensive, but the fact remains that most Australians underestimate the true cost of these nasty incidents. The first expense that comes to mind is litigation costs, comprising the legal fees and settlement costs from slip fall accident litigation. Another expense is a decline in the country’s productivity. Someone who’s broken their hip or slipped a disc in a slip fall accident is unlikely to contribute much at work and that lack of productivity costs our economy dearly. A staggering 95 million workdays are lost each year from slips, trips and falls. A third important expense, however, is often overlooked – the healthcare costs incurred by slip fall accident victims, of whom 9 million every year worldwide enter a hospital as a result of their misfortune.
The Healthcare Costs of Slip Fall Accidents
Let’s take Queensland as a case study – as the third-most populous state in Australia, it is fairly representative of slip fall statistics across the country. In recent years, the costs of hospitalization for slip fall victims aged 65 and older – who account for a disproportionately large percentage of slip fall victims – has steadily risen to over $200 million. That’s a staggering increase from the $180 million in hospitalization costs in 2012, and that was itself no small sum. That’s just the elderly victims – double or even triple that figure, and you’ll have an idea of just how much slip fall accidents are costing our healthcare industry. And that’s just Queensland.
Why are slip fall accidents so expensive? Well, like many impact injuries, slip fall accidents tend to result in fractures, which are notoriously expensive to treat and take ages to heal. This is especially the case for older victims, whose ageing bones are prone to severe and multiple fractures. In 2009 around 50 percent of slip fall victims aged 65 and over suffered a hip fracture, many necessitating hip replacement surgery costing upwards of $20, 000.
What Can We Do About It?
To paraphrase the old adage, prevention is cheaper than cure. Basic precautions will go a long way to helping prevent slip fall incidents. For example, liquid spills should be mopped up right away. Visitors should be kept away from floors that are wet or freshly waxed. Most importantly, all floors should receive anti slip floor treatment.
Friction Systems Australia prides itself on an array of non slip floor treatment options that are not just affordable, but highly effective. We’ve just rolled out our highly advanced Traction Control System which drastically increases your floor’s Static Coefficient of Friction and is so durable, it remains effective for up to 3 years even in medium use environments. Throw in our Surface modification and TCS treatments for hard floors and tough coating solutions for resilient surfaces and you’ve got a veritable arsenal with which to ward off the slip fall scourge sweeping Australia.
Slip fall accidents are truly a massive burden on our nation’s economy and healthcare sector, and that weight is increasing by the day. It’s our responsibility to take preventive measures against this disturbing phenomenon.