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. If you have suffered any type of workplace injury contact our Philadelphia workplace slip and fall accident lawyers now.
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The United States Department of Labor reports that slip and fall accidents account for the following statistics:
The 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 workdays per year, which translates to approximately 65 percent of all workdays lost
Examples of some of the most common causes of work-related slip and fall accidents include the following:
Cracked, torn or uneven floor surfaces
Inadequate or non-existent warning signs
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
Lack of skid-resistant surfaces on ramps or gangplanks
Weather hazards like rain, sleet, ice or snow
Wet leaves or pine needles
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.
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.
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.
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, call us or contact us online today.
Slippery and uneven floors, broken equipment, and uneven platforms can increase the risk of a slip or trip and fall, potentially causing workers to suffer severe injuries. Falls are one of the most common types of workplace accidents that result in missed workdays. They are also one of the most preventable.
To reduce workplace falls and protect employees and others, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued several safety requirements for employers. Certain industries are required to comply with specific safety guidelines due to the dangers they present to workers. Workers that are at the highest risk of fall injuries are those who work in construction.
Provide guard rails and toe-boards around all elevated platforms with open sides, including runways and elevated floors
Protection through a guard rail or toe-board around any holes in the floor that can pose a safety hazard to workers
Keep work environment floors reasonably clean and dry
Address all known dangers in work environments and work to prevent new hazards while removing existing ones
Train all employees about potential workplace hazards in languages the employees can understand
Provide adequate safety equipment to workers when necessary at no cost to the workers
In general industrial settings, the fall protection guards discussed above must be installed on elevations of four feet or higher. In shipyards, this requirement exists at five feet; and on construction sites, guards are required at heights of six feet or more.
A fall can have long-term, even permanent repercussions for an injured worker. In rare cases, an individual can die from injuries sustained in a fall. Examples of injuries commonly suffered in a workplace fall include:
Damage to the soft tissue and muscles
Head trauma, which can lead to concussion or severe brain injury
Cuts, which can cause severe bleeding and permanent scars
If you fall on the job, report the injury to your supervisor immediately. It is also important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible to ensure you receive a prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
An injury resulting from a fall in your workplace can leave you with high medical bills and may cause you to miss work for an extended time. File a Workers’ Compensation claim to seek the benefits you deserve. For help, contact the experienced and highly skilled Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at E.S. Borjeson & Associates today. Submit an online contact form or call us to arrange a free and confidential consultation in our Center City Philadelphia office.