Slips, trips, and falls result in a significant number of workers’ compensation claims on an annual basis. Understanding common causes, and what employers can do to protect their employees, is critical to workplace safety.
Causes of Slips
Slips happen frequently, and not just due to clumsiness or someone not paying attention:
- A person can slip when a rug or mat is not securely anchored
- Sloping walking surfaces and ramps that are not slip resistant or skid resistant can contribute to slips
- Wet floors – whether covered in water, grease, oil, food, mud, or snow – can also lead to slips
- Smooth floors can cause slips under many different types of conditions
- A completely dry, but freshly waxed or polished floor, can be slippery
- Dry products – including dust, powders, and granules – can also increase a floor’s slipperiness
Causes of Trips
Common causes of trips include:
- Unmarked changes in elevation, such as a step up or step down
- Uneven brick or tile surfaces, or floors with missing tiles or bricks
- Extension cords, hoses, or exposed cables that are not properly secured and/or covered
- Open file cabinets and desk drawers
- General clutter in work areas
Causes of Falls
Any time someone trips or slips, they can fall, which often exacerbates injuries. Falls also occur when:
- Using something other than a ladder to reach a high place, such as a box or a chair with wheels
- Someone reaches past arm’s length when standing on a ladder, rather than getting down and moving the ladder over
For people in construction, workers sometimes fall through openings they did not see, like an empty elevator shaft or hole in the flooring.
Steps Employers Can Take to Protect Their Employees
To protect employees:
- Walkways should be kept clear of obstructions
- Uneven terrain should be marked
- Tile and brick floors and walkways should be kept in good repair
Employers should be mindful of conditions that can enhance slipperiness, such as snow or dust, and take steps to reduce and/or mitigate these conditions as much as possible.
A regular schedule of workplace walk throughs will also contribute to a safer workplace environment.
Injured in the Workplace?
If you have been injured in the workplace, you may be entitled to lost wages, including lost overtime opportunities. You may also be entitled to compensation, even if the injury was partly based on your negligence.
Don’t try to represent yourself when filing a workers’ compensation claim, contact the workers’ compensation lawyers at Rosner Law Offices, P.C. instead. Our attorneys handle workers’ compensation claims regularly, and will fight for your rights. Schedule your no cost, no obligation consultation by calling (856) 502-1655.