According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over 120,000 accidental deaths occur every year. The majority of these incidents occur in public places like parks, schools, transits, and businesses. Transits are a major concern because of the likelihood of fatalities or serious injuries in accidents on buses, trams, and trains. By practicing basic safety procedures and maintaining a high standard, business operators can prevent public fatalities and protect the public from injury.
How Accidents Occur
When an accident occurs, it’s usually due to negligence. Whether it’s the business, the victim, or a third party, someone is always responsible. Trains and buses have standards and codes that must be abided by, but overworked employees don’t always follow policy. It’s as easy as setting a heavy box on a weak shelf, or failing to conduct a routine check on a public bus. Sometimes it’s the victim’s fault, like falling down an escalator. Fires, electrocution, collisions, falls, drowning, and choking are examples of common accidental deaths, all of which should be preventable in public transportation.
Prevention of Incidents
Businesses should practice stringent procedures to avoid unnecessary injuries or deaths. Emergency rooms across the country see twenty-nine million injuries per year, the majority of these injuries are due to collisions. On public transit, drivers and engineers should be well trained, attentive, sober, competent, and cautious. Buses and passenger trains should have passenger safety tips posted visibly for all to see. Many technical glitches can occur on transportation vehicles and trams, and these glitches pose a serious threat to public safety. Wheels and tires should be checked, along with brakes and transmissions.
The following is a list of generic safety guidelines that all businesses can follow to prevent deaths in public places.
Smoke detectors and fire alarms – These basic tools not only prevent fires from breaking out, but they also warn others of danger and extend an opportunity to evacuate.
Safety signs displayed for hazards, such as watch your step signs – Falling is one of the most common examples of preventable injuries. It can be difficult to notice when a clean floor is wet, so having a sign tells people to either avoid the area or to tread carefully.
Adequate lighting – Proper lighting goes a long way toward preventing accidents such as falls, cuts, and other operator or user-related accidents. People are less apt to make fatal mistakes in the workplace if they can see their environment.
Routine maintenance checkups – Routine checkups ensure proper functioning of equipment. Checkups also prevent electrical fires and electrocutions.
Proper work oversight – Managers can prevent accidents by checking the work of employees and monitoring the working environment.
Employee hygiene policies – By encouraging employees to wash their hands, businesses can prevent the spread of disease. This is especially important for public transit, which carry thousands of people through the flu season. An infection can be as deadly as a fall.
Response to an emergency plays a major role in preventing public fatalities. Employees should contact the authorities immediately in the event of an accident. Buses, trains, schools, and businesses should display a list of emergency contacts, including the local fire and police departments. Fire extinguishers should be clearly visible to the public. A business should have fire exits, or emergency exits, with well-lit signs. The Department of Public Safety has detailed guidelines for public structures and building codes, but unfortunately these are not always followed. When death occurs on public transportation due to negligence, an attorney specializing in wrongful death can help bring justice and settlement to the victims.