In many workplaces, slippery floor surfaces and various debris and clutter put workers at risk of slipping, tripping, and falling. Slipping hazards can be caused by spilled liquids or water being tracked in from outdoors.
Where do workplace slip, trip and fall accidents occur the most?
Slip, trip and fall hazards are one of the leading causes of workplace injuries and disabilities, according to the National Safety Council. While slip, trip and fall injuries can occur in any industry, they most commonly occur in:
- Construction - 24,700 injuries and 384 fatalities
- Manufacturing - 22,040 injuries and 49 fatalities
- Wholesale trade - 10,250 injuries and 21 fatalities
- Retail trade - 29,830 injuries and 29 fatalities
- Transportation and warehousing - 23,490 injuries and 46 fatalities
- Professional and business services - 22,090 injuries and 111 fatalities
- Education and health services - 43,660 injuries and 18 fatalities
- Government - 63,350 injuries and 44 fatalities
About 26 percent of workers who fall sustain sprains, strains, or tears to muscles, joints, and ligaments. Another 21 percent experience soreness and pain and 17 percent sustain bruises and contusions.
Fall prevention in the workplace
Reducing the risk of workplace falls isn't rocket science. Tripping hazards can be mitigated by ensuring floors and walking areas are clear of wires, tools, clutter, and debris. Uneven surfaces and other walking defects should be addressed and repaired. In addition, all walking areas should be well-lit.
Slipping hazards, such as water, may not be as easily identified, but once they are, they should be cleaned up immediately. In addition, caution signs should be placed around the area of a slipping hazard in order to alert people walking by. This is required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) regulation 29 CFR 1910.145. OSHA asserts that employers must follow these guidelines:
- Placing signs in areas where hazards exist and instructing employees to do so
- Only using signs that have rounded or blunt corners and are free of sharp surfaces
- Making sure bolts are securely fastened and don't pose a threat to anyone walking by
- Using signs with wording that is legible and clear
- Only using signs with a yellow base, black letters, and a red slipping hazard symbol
If you were injured on the job, contact us
When employers follow these guidelines, they greatly reduce the likelihood of workplace slip, trip, and fall accidents. That doesn't mean they can't still happen. Hazards can occur unexpectedly at any time, even when your employer does the right thing.
If you were hurt on the job, you may be eligible to collect workers' compensation benefits. This covers your medical expenses and lost wages while you recover. Obtaining these benefits, however, isn't easy. Far too many workers with legitimate injuries get denied.
That's why you need an experienced Ohio workers' compensation attorney on your side. The legal team at Hochman & Plunkett Co., L.P.A. can help guide you through this complex process and negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement. Contact us online today to learn more.