Many of us associate slip and fall injuries with wet winter months, but in fact the summer can pose a number of tripping hazards:
1) Overgrown plants, weeds, and hedges. Trailing weeds and plants can be a slip and fall hazard and can lead to serious personal injuries such as head injuries, broken bones and other serious problems. Always keep plants well cut and make sure that walkways, stairs, and sidewalks are clear.
2) Wet leaves. Wet leaves and grass cuttings quickly become slippery and dangerous. After raking or mowing your yard, always store leaves and cuttings in a compost pile or in a plastic bag for disposal.
3) Fresh paint on sidewalks, walkways and stairs. Fresh paint is surprisingly slippery, especially on asphalt. Place “wet paint” caution signs around a freshly painted area and as soon as the area is dry add no-slip strips.
4) Repair work. Summer is often the time when we repair decks and the exteriors of our homes. Unfortunately, the process can mean that bits of debris, tools, and other tripping hazards end up on our yards. If you are having repair work done, make sure that you select an insured, responsible company. If you are doing some DIY work, carefully clean up after your work is done for the day. Place signs around the affected area, warning visitors of the construction being done.
5) Evening get-togethers. Evening barbeques, parties, and events bring visitors to your home. However, to keep your visitors safe you need to make sure that sidewalks and walkways are clear and well-lighted. You also need to keep evening pests to a minimum. If you serve alcohol, make sure that each of your guests can get home safely.
6) Toys and tools left outside. Children playing outside often leave toys outside. Adults will sometimes leave books, tools, and other items on a lawn or in a yard. Get into the habit of regularly picking up items left outdoors. Create an activity area away from sidewalks and walkways, if possible, where toys and tools can be used.
7) Gardening. Gardening poses a number of tripping hazards. Newly-dug holes for plants and plant beds can pose a tripping hazard, as can garden hoses, small decorative pots placed by walkways and even small plants. Even garden gnomes, stepping stones and small stone decorations can cause tripping. When gardening, keep walkways clear and always clearly mark new holes or dangers in your yard.