How to Avoid Workplace Slip-and-Fall Accidents
In 2014, slip-and-fall accidents contributed to 26.5 percent of all workplace injuries in Massachusetts private businesses. Workplace slip-and-fall accidents and injuries are preventable, and many are caused by the negligence of an individual or a business.
How Individuals Can Help Prevent Workplace Accidents
Individual employees can be a check and balance for safety in the workplace. Here are a couple of examples of how they can help:
- Getting training as safety advocates
Seeking out safety and slip-and-fall prevention training is the best way to prevent workplace accidents. Your employer should empower employees to take action when they see slip-and-fall hazards in the workplace and create a safer space for everyone. You can also be trained on how to help others correct unsafe behaviors in the workplace.
- Wearing safe shoes and clothes
If your workplace has hazards for slipping and falling—like a restaurant kitchen or mechanic shop—it’s important to for employers to provide or require anti-slip shoes for individuals to wear. Proper fitting pants are also important, as baggy or long slacks can create a tripping risk.
While individuals can take action to prevent slips and falls, the workplace itself may also have safety hazards, and steps can be taken to promote safe working conditions as well.
Workplace Precautions Can Prevent Slips and Falls
Workplace management should take the proper measures to ensure workplace safety for all employees. Below are just a few examples of situations where workplace safety should be carefully attended to:
- Winter weather
During the winter months, be sure parking lots and sidewalks are cleared of snow and ice. It is also helpful to spread salt so walkways do not become slippery.
- Posting proper signage
If a floor has recently been mopped or might be wet from slushy winter boots, be sure to post signs to serve as a reminder that employees should take extra precaution in those areas.
- Electrical cords and cables
Electrical cords and cables can be a significant hazard for workplace accidents. Not only are they a tripping hazard; people can easily slip on heavy, wide cords. It is best if cords run along the sides of the room, out of walkways. If cords and cables need to go through walkways, be sure to secure them tightly to the floor.
- Proper Lighting
Without proper lighting, it is difficult to see hazards in the workplace. Proper lighting will help employees see obstacles or if the floor is wet and slippery so they can take the proper precautions.
- Proper flooring
Having proper flooring is essential for minimizing slip-and-fall accidents in workplaces. Installing drains where water collects, placing anti-slip strips in stairwells and other high-risk fall areas, or adding a step or ramp when necessary can all help.
- Absorbent mats
If the floor is consistently wet or the workplace is located in an area with high humidity and moisture, it is best to have absorbent mats to soak up and contain water and other liquids as necessary.
- Follow federal and state safety standards
Each state has workplace safety standards, as does the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Make your workplace safety procedures comply with—and maybe even go further than—federal and state safety regulations to help keep your workplace accident free.
Many workplace accidents are preventable, and everyone can take proactive steps for a safer work environment for all.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for employers or other employees to cut corners on safety or make careless decisions that cause someone else to become injured.
Contact the Law Offices of George A. Malliaros About Workplace Injuries
Workplace safety is serious. If you or someone you love has been injured at work, contact the Law Offices of George A. Malliaros today at (978) 452-6641 for a free consultation. You can also fill out our convenient online contact form.
The dedicated staff and attorneys at our firm will help you navigate the complex workings of the workers’ compensation system. We will work diligently to answer your questions, protect your rights, and fight for the justice and compensation you deserve. It is an honor to advocate on your behalf!
2014 occupational injuries and illnesses annual report [PDF]. (2014). Massachusetts Labor and Workforce Development. Retrieved from http://www.mass.gov/lwd/labor-standards/occupational-safety-and-health-statistics-program/illness-and-injuries-reports/2014-occup-injury-and-illness-report-lo-website-version-3.pdf