In 2014, there were a total of 247,120 slip, trip, and fall accidents that caused employees to miss work, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). That year also saw a total of 818 worker fatalities caused by slip, trip and fall accidents.
Slips usually occur when floors are wet or slick. Additionally, they can be attributed to a worker’s shoe traction. Trips, on the other hand, usually occur when walking surfaces are cluttered with debris. Broken floor pieces, cracks, holes and uneven surfaces can also create tripping hazards.
What Your Employer Should Be Doing
Slip, trip and fall accidents in the workplace are preventable. EHS Today suggests that employers do the following:
- Formal audits: Slip, trip, and fall hazards can often be counterintuitive. That’s why employers should regularly inspect and audit all floors and stairs – even if doing so is time-consuming. In fact, such audits are required by OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.22(d)(1).
- Reviewing incident reports: If one specific area in the workplace has a pattern of accidents, it’s important that employers identify the cause and take measures to alert workers about the risk. This can be done by reviewing and logging each incident that occurs.
- Following liquid trails: Slip and fall hazards are common in workplaces that receive shipments of containers filled with liquids. It’s crucial that employers track where these containers go in order to look for potential leaks.
- Promote contests: Slip, trip and fall hazards can exist anywhere, and nobody knows them better than employees. Holding a contest can help make all employees, especially new employees, aware of hazards.
- Seeking vendor input: Not all employers are up to speed on how to treat and maintain their floors. Sometimes the chemicals used to clean floors can cause a greater risk to workers. Seeking the input of an outside vendor can help remove slip, trip and fall hazards.
Your employer is obligated to maintain a safe work environment. However, workers’ compensation in California is a no-fault system. That means even if you were partially to blame for your accident, you may still be eligible for benefits.
It’s important to discuss your accident with an experienced San Diego workers’ compensation attorney who can help you weigh your options.
Contact McLaughlin & Sanchez for a free case review.