According to the most recent surveys by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 3 Million employee injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2014. Although workers’ compensation provides comprehensive health care coverage to workers injured on the job, you should still take precautions to avoid a workplace injury. The capacity for slip and fall injuries exists in every industry, but some jobs pose more of a threat than others. Whether you work in construction or retail, here are some steps to take to prevent slip and fall accidents at work.
Recognize Common Risk Factors for Workplace Accidents
Keep a checklist of common causes of slip, trip, and fall accidents in your particular industry as a way to stay aware of potential hazards. For example, scaffolding falls are a main type of slip and fall accident in the construction industry, while slipping on an oily surface might apply to a warehouse setting. Identify potential slip and fall risks in your workplace and the places you walk during your routine workday.
Common risks to watch out for in the workplace can include uneven flooring, wet surfaces, loose floor mats, slippery floor surfaces, poor lighting, uncovered cables, or clutter. Make an effort to pick up excess clutter and mark known slip and fall hazards. Encourage your coworkers to do the same. If you have to use ladders, ramps, gangplanks, or scaffoldings, check this equipment thoroughly before use. Look for cracks, signs of wear, or weak joints that could lead to an accident.
Analyze Your Workplace’s Safety Procedures
If you see slip and fall hazards often around your workplace, consider taking the initiative to increase overall safety at work. Speak with a supervisor or the human resources department about posting a list of safety procedures all employees should follow. Nonprofitrisk.org provides a good sample list of safety rules that you can send to employees. Picking up debris from the ground before leaving a worksite or making sure employees clean spills immediately can go a long way toward preventing slips and falls.
If you or someone higher up can fix common risks around your office, request that it be done. Remind supervisors that it is the company’s legal obligation to provide a reasonably safe workplace for employees. If maintenance teams need a refresher course on cleaning spills or repairing unsafe walkways, take steps toward making those things happen. Keep all light bulbs in working condition to prevent obscured vision, and tape all mats and cables down flat. If your company needs to modify or repair uneven sidewalks or flooring, it is its responsibility to do so before someone gets hurt.
Take Personal Precautions at Work
After you take steps to increase the safety of your workplace, focus on increasing your own personal safety. Take your time while performing work duties, especially if you are in a more dangerous industry. Pay attention to where you walk at all times, and be mindful of your walking pace.
In workplaces that may be wet or oily, such as in the food industry, wear professional grade non-slip footwear for traction. Invest in non-slip shoes that are comfortable to prevent physical fatigue at work, which will in turn prevent sloppy or careless footing. If you are involved in a slip and fall accident at work, never admit fault. Your employer has a duty to provide a safe workplace environment for you and your coworkers.
Contact a Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer in Los Angeles about your Accident. Protect Your Rights!
If you have sustained a workplace injury, it is crucial to know your rights in Los Angeles. Not only will workers’ compensation cover your medical bills and lost wages, but you may also be able to file a personal injury claim against your employer. If the building owner, manager, or contractor acted negligently and created an unsafe work environment, the courts may hold that party liable for damages.
Here are some other good articles about Workplace Accidents and Slip & Fall Accidents from the Grey Law Blog: