Carpet cleaning slip & falls

rob allen

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Since someone started a thread about our feckless president falling down some stairs figured it be good time for a slip & fall thread. Have you or any of your clients ever fallen? I had a popular tv preacher fall down a double set of hardwood stairs just like in the picture. He broke his hip.

First words out of his mouth were “Rob you’ve been warning me for almost 15 years and this time I forgot. I was stunned on the inside but on the outside I remained calm and collective as the ambulance took him away. Surprised he didn’t try and sue. What about you, any slip & falls?


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SkylinePrints

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I can honestly say I've seen and experienced a few slips but no falls.

I actively talk to my clients about to potential for slips especially when transitioning floor types (carpet to tile, vinyl, etc...) Also, I lay down white bathroom mats at each door or hallway while I'm there as a reminder and a help to dry shoes. My invoices also have disclaimers about the potential for slips, etc... that my lawyer had me add. I cover this again with the customer when I am complete with the work and the customer is signing off. As we do a walk-through of the house, I roll up the mats as we walk back to the door. This acts like a visual reminder and reinforces the conversations.

If you can't tell, I take this seriously and my techs are trained to do so as well. My customer's satisfaction and the safety of everyone is a top priority.
 
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SRD

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Yup got sued for over 1 million about 20 years ago. Long story short had a lady in her 60s that was told no less than 10 times to be carefully going from carpet to tile...soon as we finished and left the phone rang she hurried to answer it stepped off carpet onto tile and fell broke her wrist and hip. She ended up losing in court and she appealed it she lost the second time as well, but i can tell you that was the most stressful 2 weeks of my life.
 

wandwizard

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I had one that made my heart sink once. I was cleaning an empty house with carpet only on the far side of the house next to a large wood or laminate floor. I had been paid and the customer had left, or so I thought. Well, she snuck back in on me and rushed back to a bedroom and right back out. She was about to step off the carpet that I had treated on to the hard floor before I could say a word. She literally did a complete forward split pretty as you please right in front of me. That was bad enough, but she was about a good 8 months pregnant! Fortunately she must have been a cheerleader, gymnast, or something because she got right back up w/o harm.

I've been a lot more cautious about going out of my way to prevent slip and falls ever since. I use tarps for walk offs and I place a printed caution sign for slip and fall at every single place where going off a wet surface to a hard surface in addition to verbal warning when possible. I've been doing this since 1987 and the young pregnant woman could have wound up in court real easy and I think I would have LOST BIG TIME!!! Those caution signs are something I HIGHLY recommend. People need a VISIBLE reminder that stays down several HOURS AFTER YOU LEAVE.
 
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keep it clean

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Ive seen people slip and fall in floor adhesive. Because i wasnt the one on the hook it was funny as hell to watch them flailing in it. Signs or no signs. Still liable for the ignorant ones unfortunately.
 

wandwizard

Randy Dockins
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Ive seen people slip and fall in floor adhesive. Because i wasnt the one on the hook it was funny as hell to watch them flailing in it. Signs or no signs. Still liable for the ignorant ones unfortunately.
I'd rather reduce my chances of having an incident with signs. The truth is you don't know, neither does anyone else on this forum, what can happen in a court case if someone was to fall and seriously hurt themselves as a result of your cleaning. I would seriously suggest @rob allen to put disposable slip and fall signs that can be left behind on certain jobs in the TMF store in at least bundles of 50 or a 100. With all the people going to various types of hard floors all over the U.S. I think it's at least a little more protection against something that nobody here in their right minds wants to happen. I generally use anywhere from as little as 1 to up to 4 or 5 sheets of caution signs on a given job and the cost is minimal and so is the time to put them down. This used to not really be a concern. It sure is now!
 
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keep it clean

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I'd rather reduce my chances of having an incident with signs. The truth is you don't know, neither does anyone else on this forum, what can happen in a court case if someone was to fall and seriously hurt themselves as a result of your cleaning. I would seriously suggest @rob allen to put disposable slip and fall signs that can be left behind on certain jobs in the TMF store in at least bundles of 50 or a 100. With all the people going to various types of hard floors all over the U.S. I think it's at least a little more protection against something that nobody here in their right minds wants to happen. I generally use anywhere from as little as 1 to up to 4 or 5 sheets of caution signs on a given job and the cost is minimal and so is the time to put them down. This used to not really be a concern. It sure is now!
No dont get me wrong. By all means put signs up. Why its funny to me is despite the signs, us yelling only to be told “fk off”, despite the barricades... Ignorant people still trample through. Some go to great lengths just to do so. And it was funny to watch them get owned by a surrounding sea of glue.
 
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rob allen

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Yup got sued for over 1 million about 20 years ago. Long story short had a lady in her 60s that was told no less than 10 times to be carefully going from carpet to tile...soon as we finished and left the phone rang she hurried to answer it stepped off carpet onto tile and fell broke her wrist and hip. She ended up losing in court and she appealed it she lost the second time as well, but i can tell you that was the most stressful 2 weeks of my life.

Good lord man that’s crazy.
 

mrotto

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i cant recall an incident but I was called about 15 years ago by an attorney we cleaned for. He had a client that had her carpet cleaned. It was a two person crew and one of the guys was a newbie. She was in the upstairs bedroom while they cleaned (which included the upstairs hall and steps). She opened the bedroom door and asked the newbie cleaner at the bottom of the steps if it was ok to come down. He said yes. She walked down the stairs and when she stepped on the tile landing she slid and her foot got stuck in a hot water register on the far wall and twister her ankle bad. She still cant walk right to this day.

Long story short, they carpet cleaners attorney said that damp carpet is not any more slippery than dry carpet. I was called as an expert witness and after I gave my testimony they immediately settled.

I use a Caution Statement on invoice and caution signs anywhere carpet abuts hard floor surfaces.
 
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Joe cool

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I highly recommend getting some Dri Pods for the entrance of all wood and tile areas . I drop them in the first room cleaned and move them as I Work to the next room then as the entrances get them that transitions tile or wood . I might even wait 15 extra minutes in the van after I'm packed up just so those transition areas are dry before I leave . Highly important for each and every Job .
 

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PistolPete

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It's a high bar to prove negligence which is the standard that has to be met for a successful slip n fall lawsuit.
I would presume that unless the customer didn't know you were there cleaning, they would have a hard time claiming that they didn't know the floors would be wet during cleaning...
 

Darthmaeglin

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It does seem absurd, in a world full of water slides, slip 'n' slides, bath mats, and all manner of capitalizing on the fact that water slides on a smooth surface, someone could sue on the basis of "You didn't inform me that water slides on a smooth surface." You'd think it would be as simple as proving that the prosecutor has ever bathed.

Unfortunately who needs to prove what is going to be different depending on the judge, and the best cure to lawsuits is prevention. Even a suit you win is a time and money that could have gone elsewhere.