According to the National Safety Council, fall injuries in the U.S. cost approximately $70 billion in Workers’ Compensation and medical costs each year. Falls are one of the leading causes of workplace injuries, second only to overexertion. It is therefore important for employers to be able to spot slip and fall hazards in the workplace to reduce on-the-job injuries and associated costs. The following are a few effective ways to uncover slip and fall hazards in the workplace:
Conduct Comprehensive Safety Audits
Comprehensive safety audits can reveal unsafe workplace conditions that must be addressed to reduce risk of employee injury, illness or death. However, traditional safety audits often do not address floor safety. Employers should inspect all walking-working surfaces and conduct a more in-depth floor safety audit. Floor safety audits can be conducted either internally or by a certified walkway auditor which can be found on a list maintained by the National Floor Safety Institute.
Evaluate Incident Reports
Incident reports may provide some valuable information regarding recurring safety issues that need to be remedied. Slip and fall injuries may be repeatedly occurring in certain areas of the workplace or under certain circumstances. Being aware of these hazards can help focus employers’ attention on problem areas that must be fixed and monitored to reduce risks to employee safety.
Track Liquid Shipments
Many workplaces receive bulk shipments of liquids that are stored in cans, drums and tanks. Employers should track the liquids from arrival to storage to disposal. These storage containers can pose a hazard if they are leaky or if there is a spill. Use a floor plan to track the liquids’ movement through the facility and identify all potential hazards. Make spill response materials available to employees so they can clean up any spills and reduce their risk of suffering a slip and fall injury.
Encourage Employee Involvement
Encourage employees to take an active role in workplace safety and health. They often have the most firsthand knowledge of floor safety hazards and can provide valuable information regarding areas that pose the most risk. Employers can encourage employee involvement by sponsoring contests for employees to identify floor hazards which otherwise may be overlooked.
Ask for Advice and Assistance
Outside parties such as vendors and insurance carriers may be able to provide valuable advice and assistance. For example, floor vendors may be able to recommend cleaning products and technologies that make floors less slippery and safer for everyone. Insurance carriers have dealt with many claims for workplace slip and fall injuries and may therefore also be able to provide valuable information and resources to help identify and eliminate hazards. Inspection checklists, trainings and low- or no-cost audits can help to minimize slip and fall hazards and the reduce the risk of injury to employees.
Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Represent Workers Injured in Slip and Fall Accidents
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident at work, contact the Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 803-929-3600 or toll-free at 866-881-8623. We proudly represent clients in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.