Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer explains steps employers can take
Slip and fall accidents at work often cause serious injuries or fatalities. In 2019, an estimated 27 percent of the 888,220 nonfatal workplace injuries (239,800 injuries) that resulted in employees missing work were due to slip, trip and fall accidents, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
In addition, workplace fatalities caused by slip, trip or fall accidents increased by 11.3 percent in 2019 compared to 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Slip, trip and fall accidents have ranked as the top cause of workplace accidents for the past 11 years, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
But there are steps companies can take to avoid such accidents. Recently, a team of workplace safety experts outlined their suggestions for preventing slip, trip and fall accidents in Safety + Health magazine.
Why do slip and fall accidents happen at work?
Some of the most common causes of work-related slip, trip and fall accidents include:
- Wet or slippery floors
- Uneven floor surfaces
- Unmarked hazards
- Poor lighting
- Loose handrailings
All it takes is one small mistake to cause a serious injury at work. That’s why it’s critical that companies do everything they can to prevent slip, trip and fall accidents from happening in the first place.
What can companies do to prevent such accidents?
Several workplace safety experts interviewed by Safety + Health outlined different ways companies can prevent slip and fall accidents at work:
- Keep offices clean – Companies need to regularly clean surfaces, especially floors and stairways. Water, grease or other substances left on the floor often cause accidents.
- Regularly inspect workplace – Companies can’t simply assume that their factory, warehouse or office space doesn’t have any hazardous conditions. They need to regularly inspect work areas and make sure they’re hazard-free.
- Keep workers informed – If an employee discovers a hazardous situation at work, the company should make sure everyone knows about it. If necessary, the company should hold a meeting or post signs warning workers about the hazardous situation.
- Fix hazards promptly – Once companies identify hazardous situations, they need to fix them right away. If a handrailing on a stairwell is loose, fix it or replace it as soon as possible and make sure workers are aware of the danger in the meantime.
- Make safety a priority – Companies need to do more than just talk about the importance of a safe workplace. They need to take action. This might simply mean giving workers more time to perform certain tasks. Otherwise, they might slip and fall due to being in a rush.
“Most workers have some safety knowledge, but how do we get people to consistently apply the safety practices that they know?” Bradley Evanoff, occupational health physician and professor of occupational and environmental medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, said in an interview with Safety + Health. “How can an employer create a work culture where all employees take an active role in making the workplace safer and feel like they can speak up if they see a problem?”
How can a lawyer help me with my injury claim?
You might think you don’t need an attorney if you get hurt in a slip and fall accident work. All you have to do is tell your supervisor you got injured and they will make sure you receive workers’ compensation benefits, right?
Don’t be so sure. In many cases, getting the money you deserve for medical bills, replacement income and other injury-related expenses can be very difficult. That’s why you need an experienced attorney on your side, standing up for your rights.
Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer Richard A. Jaffe and his dedicated legal team at the Law Offices of Richard A. Jaffe, LLC have years of experience helping workers in Pennsylvania. Contact us to learn more about the legal options available to you. Schedule a free consultation with a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney you can trust. Our office is conveniently located in downtown Philadelphia on John F. Kennedy Boulevard.