Slips, trips, and falls can occur in any workplace, including retail stores, corporate offices, schools, hotels, hospitals, warehouses, etc. They are major contributors to preventable on-the-job injuries and deaths in the workplace. In fact, they are second only to vehicle incidents when it comes to worker fatalities.
A slip, trip, or fall can occur in a split second but can lead to months, and even years, of physical recovery. There are many conditions that cause these injuries. They include:
- Uneven floor surfaces
- Wet or greasy floors due to spills
- Wet or frozen surfaces due to weather
- Loose carpeting or floor mats
- Irregular steps or steps without railings to hold onto
- Inclined walkways or ramps
- Obstructions (including tools, electrical cords, etc.)
- Improper use of ladders or damaged ladders
You may not be able to completely avoid these accidental injuries, but by modifying your behavior and surroundings, you can decrease your risks. Follow these tips to stay safe:
- Establish cleanup procedures. If no one is specifically charged with cleaning an area, the work may never get done. Ensure that someone in your organization is in charge of cleanup on a daily basis, whether it be through a professional cleaning crew or a joint effort of staff members. If areas are not properly cleaned, make sure to report this information to the person in charge. That way, they can remedy the situation before people get hurt due to a messy environment.
- Stay alert. Most of us go through life in a hurry, slightly preoccupied, or trying to balance multiple tasks at once. This can lead to many avoidable injuries. Try to be present when walking from point A to point B. Put down your smartphone, and pay attention to your surroundings.
- Clean up moisture immediately. Whether you’re dealing with a milk spill in a grocery store or water in a bathroom due to an overflowed toilet, it’s critical to get liquid off the floor immediately. Mark off the area with cones until you can get it cleaned up.
- Get rid of obstacles. If you are headed down a cluttered walkway, take a moment to clear the way first. It’s easy to trip on a handbag that someone left on the floor by their desk or an electrical cord strewed across a hallway. And don’t just think about your own safety; help prevent others’ injuries as well by cleaning up around your workspace, closing drawers and cabinets, and picking up anything that may be obstructing a walkway (even if you didn’t put it there).
- Ensure adequate lighting. If your building includes a poorly lit room, hall, or staircase, take steps to improve lighting so that you can see where you are going.
- Mind your footwear. If you have to traverse slick surfaces, wear shoes with traction. A nice pair of high heels or dress shoes may look great, but they will scarcely be worth the fashion statement if you end up tripping and falling on the job. Wear shoes that fit your work responsibilities and environment.
Sadly, slips and falls can result in serious injuries. Contact an accident injury attorney for help filing a claim and getting the compensation that you deserve.