Slips, trips, and falls account for over 25 percent of workplace injuries, making it the third most common injury that people experience at work.
Oftentimes, slip and fall accidents occur as a result of negligence or poor housekeeping practices and could have been entirely avoided. By learning more about how slip and fall accidents happen in the workplace, you can prevent them from happening and keep yourself and other employees safe.
Keep reading for the most common ways these accidents occur and how you can prevent them.
Floors can become slippery from spilled drinks, water or snow being tracked in from outside, from machines leaking, or leaks in the roof. If there isn’t a “wet floor sign” put out promptly or the floor remains slippery, an unsuspecting worker is likely to slip and fall.
In order to avoid these types of falls, you need to take preventative measures and act quickly.
To minimize indoor water, consider adding a rug to the entryway so people can dry their feet when they come inside.
When water does creep inside or a spill occurs, it’s important to act right away. Go grab a wet floor sign and set it up while you clean up the spill with a mop. Leave the sign until the floor is completely dry and safe to walk on.
Rainy and windy days can be hazardous to people in the workplace and requires you to take precaution.
For outdoor spaces, consider having handrails along walkways or up any steps to prevent any slips and falls due to rain. For indoor spaces, make sure you’re always monitoring any water coming in from outside.
To keep indoor walking spaces clear of rainwater, you can follow the same procedures as you would with water.
It’s also helpful if your building has parking close to your building so people don’t have to walk far in the rain or wind. If they have to park far away, allow them to wait until the rain and wind slow down before trekking to the office.
Staircases account for a lot of slips and falls that can be hard to avoid. Distracted workers might miss a step and take a hard fall down the staircase.
While you can’t necessarily prevent workers from being distracted or missing steps, you can make sure that the staircase is as safe as possible. For example, you can make the staircase slip-resistant or use carpet on them to avoid some slips walking up or down the stairs.
Also, if there’s a step in an unsuspecting place, you can put up a “watch your step” sign so people don’t miss it.
There should also be handrails for outdoor staircases so people can keep their balance, especially if it’s been raining or snowing.
Your office should never have debris or clutter lying around and if it does, there will likely be an employee that trips on the clutter, resulting in a bad fall.
Debris and clutter can easily lead to a fall, but luckily, you can simply clear away the clutter and prevent these types of falls altogether.
Some things to be aware of when it comes to debris around the office include:
If you notice anything blocking the walkways, move it right away to avoid any accidents.
Poor lighting might not be the first thing you consider when thinking about office hazards, but it’s definitely something to be aware of. If there’s an area with poor lighting, employees can easily miss steps or not see debris on the floor which will lead to a slip and fall.
Make sure all areas in the office are well-lit at all times. If you want to save money on utilities, you can even get motion-activated lighting so areas are only lit up when someone is in the vicinity. This is also helpful for people who are the first ones in the office because they won’t have to stumble around looking for a light switch.
If your office has a private parking lot, you need to keep up with its maintenance just as much as you take care of your office. If there are potholes or ditches around your building or in the parking lot, consider getting them filled in right away.
Not only is it a bad look to have potholes everywhere, but someone can easily not see it and take a hard fall on the cement as a result.
If you have had a slip and fall accident in the workplace, it’s important to document everything you can about the incident. Take pictures of where it happened and what caused the fall. If there were any eyewitnesses of the incident, have them record what they saw happen, too.
When you visit the doctor, take note of all the injuries you received as a result of the slip and fall.
If you believe the company is at fault, you should work with a slip and fall attorney who can represent you and get you the compensation you deserve.
Slip and fall accidents are all too common in the workplace, which is why it’s important to be aware of the dangers and understand how you can best prevent them. However, if a slip and fall accident does occur, be sure to follow the proper procedures and work with an attorney to learn about your options.