Workplace Slip and Fall Accidents

Workplace Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common types of work-related accidents, and resulting injuries can range from a bruised knee from tripping over a carpet to a serious head, neck or back injury from a much more dangerous fall. Slip and fall accidents account for more than 20 percent of all workplace injuries, according to the National Safety Council (NSC), which results in more than one million Workers’ Compensation claims filed each year.

The United States Department of Labor reports that slip and fall accidents account for the following statistics:

  • Second leading cause of fatalities per year, following motor vehicle accidents, resulting in 15 percent of all accidental deaths
  • Approximately 25 percent of reported injury claims per fiscal year
  • Over 95 million lost work days per year, which translates to approximately 65 percent of all work days lost

Examples of some of the most common causes of work-related slip and fall accidents include the following:

  • Spilled liquids
  • Cracked, torn or uneven floor surfaces
  • Inadequate or non-existent warning signs
  • Poor lighting
  • Holes or gaps in flooring
  • Broken or uneven stairs, no handrails
  • Exposed cables or wires
  • Abrupt or unexpected elevator stops
  • Wet or greasy floors
  • Newly polished or freshly waxed floors
  • Sloped walking surfaces
  • Clutter
  • Lack of skid-resistant surfaces on ramps or gang planks
  • Weather hazards like rain, sleet, ice or snow
  • Wet leaves or pine needles

Steps to Create a Safer Work Environment

  • Establish Good Housekeeping Practices

When a work environment is clean and well-organized, it suggests that safety is also a priority. Keep these three simple steps in mind when considering good housekeeping routines at work:

Plan ahead: Know what needs to be done and the specific tasks needed to address each area. – Assign responsibilities: Hold a specific person/people responsible for certain tasks.

Implement a program: Create housekeeping procedures as part of the daily schedule.

  • Reduce Wet/Slippery Surfaces

Slippery surfaces account for the majority of slip and fall injuries, so it is critical to maintain sidewalks and parking lots, clear snow and ice in a timely fashion, use anti-skid or adhesive material when possible, and display signage to warn people of any slippery floors. Also, make sure to clean up any spills immediately including on rugs or mats where required.

  • Avoid Obstacles in Aisles or Walkways

Maintaining clear, organized work areas at all times can help avoid injury. Clear away any unused boxes or containers, close file cabinets when no longer in use and keep all cords, cables and wires neatly organized.

  • Establish Proper Lighting At All Times

Poor lighting leads to an increase in accidents in the workplace. Repair any broken fixtures, keep fixtures and switches visible, and always keep work areas well-lit.

  • Wear Appropriate Footwear

Always wear the proper shoes required for your specific job. Keep shoelaces tied, and replace shoes if they are over worn or outdated.

  • Control individual Behavior

While difficult to control at all times, discourage shortcuts that may lead to injuries and encourage employees to always stay alert, use common sense and observe all safety regulations when on the job.

Compensation for Slip and Fall Workplace Accidents 

All employees have a right to Workers’ Compensation benefits if they have been injured on the job. It is critical to act swiftly and report your injury to your supervisor so that the claims process can be initiated. Typically, benefits will cover medical and therapy bills, certain out-of-pocket expenses and a percentage of lost wages while the employee recovers. Once your injuries have been evaluated by a physician, he or she will diagnose one of the following, depending on the seriousness of your injury:

  • Temporary partial disability, in which you may resume your job duties after a specified period of recovery.
  • Permanent partial disability, where you may be given different job responsibilities until you are physically able to return to your former position.
  • Permanent total disability, which prevents you from returning to your job or any other type of work as a result of your injury.

Third Party Lawsuits

In most cases, your state’s Workers’ Compensation system handles your work-related injury. However, if your slip and fall injury was the result of a third party, you may have a claim against the company. Cases like this entitle the injured worker to payment of both medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses, the full amount of lost wages and a specified amount for pain and suffering.

Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at E.S. Borjeson & Associates Help Employees Injured in Workplace Slip and Fall Accidents

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a slip and fall accident at work, Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at E.S. Borjeson & Associates will work diligently to secure the financial compensation you deserve. For a confidential consultation, contact us at 215-772-3020 or contact us online today.