Workplace safety is a concern for both employers and employees. On-the-job accidents can result in serious injuries, lost productivity and even fatalities.
One of the most common causes of workplace injuries is also one of the most preventable. Slip-and-fall accidents occur daily in all types of workplaces across the country. Fortunately, attention to a few basic safety measures can improve workplace safety.
Wet or slippery surfaces
One of the primary causes of slip-and-fall accidents is wet or slippery surfaces. Spills, leaks or inadequate cleaning practices can contribute to this. Employees and visitors may unknowingly step onto hazardous surfaces and lose their footing.
Uneven surfaces can also pose a risk. Cracked, warped or damaged floors can easily trip unsuspecting employees or customers. Unevenly poured concrete or incorrectly installed carpet can also create potential hazards. Employers should regularly inspect and maintain flooring to prevent these accidents.
Clutter and obstacles
Equipment, tools or debris can create obstacles that contribute to slip-and-fall accidents. Employees should keep work areas tidy and free from potential tripping hazards.
Low lighting conditions may cause employees to miss potential hazards in their path. Insufficient lighting in hallways, stairwells and work areas increases the risk of falling. Employers should ensure lighting is functional and positioned correctly.
Inappropriate footwear can contribute to slip-and-fall accidents. Employees without slip-resistant shoes or boots are more likely to lose their footing on slick surfaces. Employers can help by enforcing proper footwear policies.
Lack of safety signage
In many workplaces, hazardous areas are not clearly marked with safety signage. This can lead to employees and visitors inadvertently entering high-risk areas. Employers should place warning signs in areas with known hazards.
Outdoor workplaces are prone to weather-related hazards, such as rain, ice and snow. These conditions can increase the likelihood of slip-and-fall accidents. Employers should create plans to mitigate weather-related hazards.
With an average workers’ compensation cost of $48,575, slip-and-fall accidents are financially damaging. Employers must take proactive steps to identify the causes of these accidents and find remedies. Regular maintenance, clear signage and training can reduce the risk of injury and create safer work environments.