Look around your facility. Those slippery surfaces that you see, that area by the door with snow, ice, and water being tracked in, the stairs without any treads – all of them can ruin someone’s life. That is because catastrophic spinal cord injuries are often the result of a slip and fall. In fact, slips and falls are second only to auto accidents when it comes to causing spinal injuries. When someone severely damages their spine, their lives, and those of their family, will never be the same. And if your business was at fault for such an injury, you will pay a steep price for such losses.
Spinal Cord Injuries Change Everything
Almost all of the body’s functioning depends on a properly working spinal cord. It is the mechanism through which the brain communicates with the rest of the body, transmitting the messages that facilitate its movements.
But when the spinal cord breaks or suffers a severe injury, the parts of the body controlled by the impacted area may lose their ability to function. In turn, this can leave the victim paralyzed and incapable of moving their torso or limbs. This paralysis can affect just the lower extremities (quadriplegia) or leave all four limbs non-functioning (paraplegia).
Spinal injuries change everything for victims and their families. Loved ones’ lives are never again entirely their own, as they must adapt to the overwhelming responsibilities of caring for someone with severe and wide-ranging physical limitations. This is in addition to the financial burdens, intense and potentially life-long treatment and rehabilitation, and the emotional and psychological trauma that follows in the wake of a spinal cord injury.
A Common and Costly Injury
Tragically, spinal cord injuries upend the lives of thousands of American lives every year. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center:
- Approximately 17,700 Americans suffer a new spinal injury every year.
- Roughly 288,000 Americans currently live with a spinal cord injury.
- The average costs of the first year of treatment for paraplegia are $537,271. Each year after that, those costs average $71,172.
- For individuals with quadriplegia, average expenses are approximately $1 million in the first year and $184,000 every following year.
- Only 11.7 percent of people with a spinal cord injury return to work within one year after the injury. Twenty years post-injury, that figure remains low, at 35.2 percent.
- The average life expectancy for individuals with spinal injuries is significantly shorter than those without such injuries.
Types of Slips and Falls That Cause Spinal Cord Injuries
Of all falls that lead to spinal cord injuries, those that happen on the same level from slipping, tripping, and stumbling (as opposed to a fall from a height) account for 20 percent of them. Slips and falls due to ice and snow are responsible for over two percent of fall-induced catastrophic spinal injuries. Among people aged 75 and older, slips, trips, and stumbles on the same level accounted for 40 percent of fall-related spinal cord injuries.
As noted, the costs and expenses that follow in the wake of a serious spinal injury can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. Those are expenses that your business may be held responsible for if you did not take sufficient steps to minimize the chances of slip and fall on your premises.
The good news is that reducing the chances of slips and falls and the spinal cord injuries that often result is easy and affordable with commercial mats and floor coverings specifically designed to minimize such incidents.
Eagle Mat and Floor Products proudly offers the finest in commercial mats and floor covering products in the marketplace. Our products are designed to provide safety, durability, and functionality in all types of environments.
We sell and rent matting, safety flooring, and other products that help businesses deliver the highest quality of service and provide safety to clients, patrons, and employees alike. Contact us today at 1-877-333-1018 to speak with our knowledgeable sales team.