Slip-and-fall accidents are one of the most common types of employee accidents in the workplace. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, slip and falls account for over 1 million hospital emergency room visits each year, making them the leading cause of visits. It’s important for companies to take preventive measures to reduce the chance of slip-and-fall accidents. Rather than waiting until an accident occurs, make it a point to address the situation and prevent slip-and-falls now.
Dangers of Slip-And-Fall Accidents In The Workplace:
- Can lead to serious injury or death
- Forces the injured employee to take time off
- Company pays for medical pays, higher insurance premiums, administrative costs, replacing the injured employee, and fixing the problem
- Possibility of legal action due to neglect
- Lowers employee morale
As you can see, there are numerous reasons why companies should focus on reducing the chance of slip-and-fall accidents in the workplace. The most obvious reason is to protect the health and well-being of employees, but there are other ‘lesser-known’ reasons highlighted above.
Ground-Level vs Elevated Falls
Slip-and-fall accidents generally fall into one of two different categories: ground level falls or elevated falls. Ground level falls are less severe but more common, occurring when a worker slips and falls on level terrain. Elevated falls are less common but more severe, occurring when a worker falls from an elevated position. Just a couple feet of elevation amplifies the danger and severity of a fall significantly, so keep this mind when performing safety inspections of your workplace.
Risk Analysis and Followup
The first step in reducing the risk of slip-and-fall accidents is to perform a risk analysis of your workplace. Even if you know your workplace like the back of your hand, you still need to identify and prioritize areas of risk. Make sure there’s plenty of lighting to illuminate the area, making slippery areas easier to spot. Go through and inspect the floors while looking for signs of spilled oil, battery acid, gasoline or other chemicals. Once these areas are identified, prioritize them from least to greatest risk.
The next step is to take action towards fixing these areas of risk. If oil is constantly being spilled in the area where your forklifts are parked, then perhaps you could lay out some absorbent mats to help control the spill. You can also hang up signs to let employees know about the danger of slip-and-fall accidents. There are just a few of the many ways companies can reduce the chance of fall accidents in the workplace.