Preventing slip and fall accidents in the workplace

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2016 | Workplace Accidents

Although every possible cause of an accident cannot be foreseen, employers typically take care to create a safe environment to reduce the number of injuries that occur. There are some common scenarios for which companies can implement practices to reduce some of the most frequent causes of accidents and injuries in New Jersey, such as slip and fall accidents.

Despite programs in place to prevent falls, many companies continue to have unsafe practices that have kept the number of workplace accidents steady, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are several contributing factors that could lead to falls. Some of the most common are due to issues with surfaces on which workers walk or work. This might be that they are unstable, cluttered or slippery. Poor safety with ladders and openings in the floor and wall also contribute to the problem.

Slip and fall accidents occur across all industries and create a significant financial burden. These type of accidents lead to an estimated $70 billion in associated costs, such as medical costs and workers’ compensation benefits. Construction workers have the highest frequency of deaths due to falls. The highest number of nonfatal injuries is in the wholesale and retail industry and the health service.

According to The Balance, knowing the most common risk factors and eliminating them from the workplace is a major first step in prevention and reducing the number of accidents. It is important to keep the area clean and organized to reduce many hazards, including trip hazards such as cables and electrical cords. Following safety practices that include stairs with hand rails, the right signage and good lighting also plays a role in preventing slip and fall accidents.

Slippery floors pose a threat to safety. Taking actions to prevent any coffee, water or other liquid spills from causing a problem is important. There might also be grease, oil or remnants from cleaning the floor, including wax, of which care needs to be taken. Keeping walkways free of tripping hazards, including frayed carpets or loose gravel also protects employees from tripping and falling.