Defective and ill-fitting shoes are responsible for thousands of slip and fall accidents in the home and workplace each year.
Wearing the Right Shoes
Slip and fall accidents are a leading cause of serious injuries and fatalities at home and work. In the home, 50% of accidental deaths are caused by falls. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), falls are the leading cause of death for seniors over the age of 65. In the workplace, 85% of workers’ compensation claims are linked to falls, accounting for about $70 billion in compensation and medical costs each year.
Shoes that fit properly with a steady base and good tread play a key role in preventing slip and fall accidents. Common shoe defects that pose fall dangers include:
- Worn or uneven tread
- Loosely glued or stitched insoles
- Poor arch support
- Crooked heel counters
- Loose or unstable heels
- Improper shoe fit
Defective and ill-fitting shoes can cause serious falls, as well as painful blisters, broken veins, heel spurs, fallen arches, and plantar fasciitis, a painful foot condition caused by inflamed tissues on the bottom of the feet. Plantar fasciitis causes stabbing pain near the heel that makes walking difficult. The condition usually requires physical therapy, steroid injections, or surgery to prevent crippling pain and loss of mobility.
Slip and fall attorneys see many work-related injuries caused by defective and ill-fitting shoes. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, wearing improperly fitted shoes accounts for approximately 100,000 workplace injuries each year. The majority of these injuries are caused by slippery floors and heavy falling objects that result in puncture wounds, broken bones, and crushed feet and ankles. Workers who handle heavy equipment, power tools, and sharp objects are at high risk for foot injuries without protective shoes. Workers in certain occupations are required to wear protective footwear approved by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration).
Liability for slip and fall accidents depends on a variety of factors including property conditions that contribute to a fall. This may include wet or slippery floors, damaged stair treads, loose handrails, and inadequate lighting. If negligence by the property owner contributes to a fall, the property owner can be held liable for injuries. If a shoe is defective, a product liability claim can be filed against the shoe manufacturer.