Slips, trips and falls occur in a myriad of workplace environments – and may happen more often than you think. Non-fatal slip-and-fall accidents account for more than 8 million visits to the emergency room each year. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, slips, trips, and falls cause most work-related accidental injuries. They can result in serious physical trauma such as contusions, fractures, or back injuries. Recognize hazards in your work environment, and use preventative measures to avoid injuring yourself or a co-worker.
What Causes Slips, Trips and Falls in the Workplace?
- Slippery walkways due to oil, grease, floor cleaning solutions, leaks, or debris.
- Poor lighting, or view obstructions such as smoke, steam, or dust.
- Improperly maintained ladders and stairs.
- Seasonal hazards such as snow or ice.
- Uneven or unstable working surfaces.
- Protruding nails and boards.
- Cluttered walkways.
- Unguarded heights.
- Unsecured mats.
- Improper footwear or protective equipment.
- Using medications that affect balance and coordination.
- Poor vision, balance, thinking, memory, or reflexes.
- Alcohol or substance abuse.
- Illness or medical condition.
What can an employer and employee do to prevent accidents in the workplace?
- Advise and train staff on risks of the job and proper use of equipment.
- Use personal protective equipment, such as slip-resistant footwear.
- Clear debris and obstructions from walkways immediately.
- Clearly document cleaning procedures.
- Ensure proper drainage.
- Provide nonslip mats and surfaces.
- Clean wet floors immediately.
- Use wet floor signs.
- Tape or anchor any cords temporarily in walkways.
- Ensure good lighting in all working environments.
- Provide proper handrails for stairs.
- Re-lay bunched carpeting.
- Properly maintain ladders.
Preventing injuries should be a goal of every work environment. However, accidents can happen. Many of us have a friend or relative who has had a slip-and-fall related work injury. If you or someone you know has been injured at work, please call the Worker’s Compensation attorneys at Rutter Mills Law Firm.