To ensure a clean and fragrant environment, the janitorial staff caring for a building might choose scented floor-cleaning products.

However, danger may lurk behind the fragrance and contribute to a nasty fall for an unsuspecting person.

Importance of traction

When people suddenly fall, it may seem as though they simply tripped over their own feet. Falls happen so swiftly that the cause is often not immediately known. Much depends on the degree of traction that exists between a person’s shoe and the surface on which he or she is walking. If a liquid product spills in a grocery store aisle, the prudent employee will mop the floor and put out a sign telling shoppers to take care as they pass by. However, the type of cleaning product used could cause low traction, which raises the potential for a fall.

Common dangers

A smooth floor in a store or hotel corridor may look fine, but if there is a lingering fragrance, beware. Oils are usually present in these fragrances, and oils are a common cause of slippery floors. Other fluids also pose dangers, such as moisture tracked inside from the inclement weather or the oily, greasy residue from parking lots.

Potential injuries

Falls for anyone at any age can cause serious injuries. Among the most common results of a fall on a hard, slippery floor are fractures, head and neck injuries, shoulder injuries and damage to the spinal cord. Property owners must keep the premises safe for employees and the public and can be held liable for an injury such as one caused by the lack of traction on a slippery floor.