Workplaces, whether they are factories, offices, department stores or construction sites, commonly pose a risk of slip and fall injury for the workers. In fact, the falls from a height are far fewer compared to the slips and trips occurring on the same level.
The National Safety Council data shows that slips and falls account for more than 20 percent of all workplace injuries, and result in at least one million workers’ compensation claims getting filed every year. If you have suffered a slip and fall injury at your workplace due to the negligence of the employer or a third party, you could be eligible for compensation.
Seek legal advice from an experienced Boston workers’ comp attorney at Shapiro Law Group, PC. We will also evaluate whether a third party was responsible for your injuries, in which case you may be able to file a personal injury claim as well.
Slips at the Workplace
Some of the key causes of workplace slips include:
- A wet or greasy surface with minimal friction or traction between the surface and the footwear
- Spills involving machine oils, lubricants, water, or other liquids
- Torn or loose rugs or floor mats
- Snow or ice around the workplace premises
Although slips, falls, and overexertion may seem like minor causes, they can lead to major injuries that require considerable treatment. Repetitive motion injuries are created over an extended period such as typing for example.
Trips at the Workplace
If you collide with any intrusive object at your workplace, you could lose your balance and fall. The typical cause of trips at the workplace include:
- Uneven or broken walking surfaces
- Obstructed view of a hazard
- Unclosed cabinet drawers at the bottom
- Clutter on the shop floor
- Obstructed view
- Dimly lit work areas
- Uncovered wires or cables
Falls on the Same Level at the Workplace
Some of the causes of falls occurring at the same level at your workplace will include:
- Uneven floor surface
- Obstructed view occurring because of carrying of objects
- Badly managed work systems, such as climbing the stairs while lifting heavy objects, or accessing high storage areas at the workplace using weak ladders
At Shapiro Law Group, PC, our knowledgeable Boston personal injury attorneys will help you determine whether you may be able to claim both workers’ compensation benefits and damages for negligence from a party other than your employer.
Prevention of Slip and Fall Accidents at the Workplace
A slip and fall accident typically occurs when there is a sudden change in contact between your feet and the workplace. This implies that professional housekeeping, quality of footwear, flooring, and a balanced walking pace are factors that can help prevent the risk of workplace slip and fall injuries.
Although many businesses prefer to cut costs by spending inadequately on housekeeping, the fact remains that housekeeping is one of the most effective solutions to minimize the incidence of slip and fall accidents. Housekeeping practices that will prevent or at least reduce the occurrence of slip and fall injuries at your workplace include:
- Removing debris from the floors
- Cleaning all the spills and marking them clearly
- Reducing clutter in the walkways and keep them free of obstacles
- Keeping work areas and walkways well lit
- Making sure that file cabinets and storage drawers are not left open
- Securing carpets, rugs, and mats at the workplace to ensure they will always lay flat
If a workplace has poor housekeeping practices, chances are that even with the right protection gear, including protective footwear, the risk of slip and fall workplace injuries remains high.
Walking Surfaces or Flooring
If a particular floor at an office or factory has a higher incidence of worker slips and trips, the walking surface may be faulty and you may have to correct its defects. To boost workplace safety and minimize the chances of falling due to flooring, employers should consider the following measures:
- Recoat or replace the floors
- Use metal or synthetic decking
- Coat the floor with an abrasive filled paint
In any case, you should remember that high-tech flooring solutions may fail if the housekeeping practices at the work premises are unreliable. Additional steps for safety that an employer can take include ensuring all the workspaces and stairways in the business premises are well-lit and have the proper signage. Cords, wires, and other tripping hazards can be reduced by taping the cords securely to the floor.
The workers should be provided with a trolley, a pulley, or a similar mechanical device to carry objects without obstructing their vision. Changes in surface levels can be highlighted by using edge strips. Reduction in the number of floor level also helps (for instance, ramps along with handrails can be used instead of steps).
If you believe you have a workers’ compensation claim against an employer and/or other parties, choose a dedicated Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney at Shapiro Law Group, PC to achieve the best possible outcome.