Preventing Falls in the Workplace
Slips and falls are one of the leading causes of workplace injury, and they are responsible for numerous deaths and disabilities each year. Medical experts indicate that approximately 30 percent of adults 65 years of age or older will fall each year. About 90 percent of people who fracture their hips do so because of a fall. A 2005 Swedish study estimated that about 20 percent of people who fracture their hips after a fall will die within one year of falling.
Research shows that nearly 15 percent of falls happen on the job. These incidents are a major contributor to an employer’s Workers Compensation costs. Whether a fall is a worker tumbling off of a roof or just missing a step when descending a few stairs, each claim can potentially cost an employer thousands of dollars. Rising medical expenses, lost wages, and lost employee productivity can all severely impact your business operations.
Here are some recommended tips for helping your employees stay safe:
- Require workers to wear slip-resistant footwear, which may reduce accidents by as much as 50 percent.
- Make sure there are absorbent rugs in every entry way, but the rugs should not be easy to trip on.
- Be sure that all floors are kept clean and dry. When it rains or snows, cleaning staff should check the floors more often.
- Remove all clutter from walkways, halls and common areas.
- Ensure there are sturdy handrails in all stairwells of the workplace.
- Always place signs on wet floors to alert workers of their condition.
- Keep the workplace’s walkways well lit during working hours, and check the bulbs in all light sources frequently to replace faulty ones.
- When cabinets and drawers are not in use, make sure they remain closed.
- Keep the flooring in good condition at all times. Replace old tiles or warped carpeting as needed.
Employers should assign one person or a small team of people in the workplace to be in charge of checking for fall risks. They should ensure all proper precautions are taken, note any new hazards and work with the employer to develop a solid workplace safety plan. To learn more about reducing the risk of slips and falls in the workplace, contact Pittsford Insurance Agency and discuss your concerns with an agent.