What do offices, restaurant kitchens, and construction sites have in common? As well as many other types of workplaces, they share potential slip, trip and fall hazards.
According to a National Safety Council (NSC) article, these hazards often result in serious injuries that can leave workers disabled either for long periods of time or permanently. In turn, employers experience reduced productivity.
Same-level falls caused by slippery surfaces and tripping hazards are the second most common type of preventable injury and can happen in any industry.
Preventing workplace falls
Tripping hazards can be prevented by making sure items, small debris, and wires are removed from walking areas. Any uneven surfaces that pose a risk for workers should be repaired as soon as possible.
Slipping hazards, on the other hand, can be addressed with proper signage. The NSC article references one case in which signage was effective.
According to one maintenance manager, an ice machine leak in a company’s cafeteria took a while to get under control. Since the area had a high volume of foot traffic, the company leadership quickly sprang into action and placed fold-up signs alerting others of the leak.
For this reason, the NSC article urges employers to stock up on these signs. This can not only prevent injuries but can also spare employers industry violations and increased insurance premiums.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulation 29 CFR 1910.145 requires employers to comply with specific guidelines when using signs to address safety hazards. These include:
- Using specific signs to address certain hazards
- Instructing employees that signs indicate hazards
- Ensuring that all signs have rounded or blunt corners, free of sharp edges, burrs, splinters, or other sharp surfaces
- Ensuring that the ends or heads of bolts are properly fastened and don’t pose a hazard to employees
- Ensuring that the wording is easy to read and understand
- Ensuring that signs indicating a slipping hazard have a yellow background, black letters, and a safety alert symbol
Injured in a workplace fall? Speak to an attorney today.
Even if your employer takes appropriate measures to prevent falls, they can still happen unexpectedly. They can be caused by recent spills or tripping hazards that haven’t yet been addressed. Your injuries could be serious enough to put you out of work for weeks or months. Medical treatment and physical therapy can be costly and time-consuming.
That’s why you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you are hurt on the job. This pays for your medical expenses and lost wages while you’re unable to work. Having an experienced attorney on your side can maximize your chances of receiving benefits and make the process much easier.
To get started, contact Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen, LLC and set up your free consultation today.