According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, slips, trips, and falls are one of the leading causes of workers’ comp claims. About 15 percent of work-related fatalities fall into this category each year. They can happen at any workplace but are especially prevalent in the construction industry.
Worse than the death toll is the fact that slips, trips, and falls are entirely preventable. Each year, the costs associated with these injuries reaches around $11 billion. If you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident, make sure that you file a workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible.
However, preventing accidents is always the most desirable outcome. Here’s how to avoid getting injured at your workplace.
Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls
Loss of traction often causes these accidents. When your shoes can’t grip the floor surface adequately, you can lose your balance. This leads to bruises, cuts, sprains, head injuries and more.
- Pay attention to your surroundings. You can slip, trip and fall at any workplace, so situational awareness is key. Whether you are stocking books at a bookstore or up on a ladder painting a house, it is critical to be aware of your surroundings and potential hazards.
- Wear appropriate clothing and safety gear. No matter where you work, try to choose comfortable shoes with plenty of traction on the sole. Rubber-soled shoes offer particularly good grip and can be found in everything from work boots to high heels. Furthermore, if your job requires you to wear safety gear, such as hard hats, gloves, harnesses, or other personal protective equipment, follow protocol to the letter.
- Keep it clean. Most workplaces have housekeeping guidelines in place. If you see a spill on the ground or a tripping hazard, make sure that you either clean up the mess or alert the appropriate staff. Roping off the area or placing “wet floor” signs can help keep other employees or guests from accidents.
- Engage in safety training whenever offered. Your workplace may periodically offer basic safety training. While you might be experienced enough to run the training yourself, it’s wise to pay attention—especially if you work in a specialized industry. New information and guidelines come out all the time. Forewarned is forearmed!
If you’ve been injured in a workplace slip, trip or fall accident, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. For assistance, call the attorneys at Dworken & Bernstein.