Industry experts estimate that slips, trips and falls account for nearly 15 percent of all workers'' compensation claims, with the average cost of injury reaching almost $19,000.
Fortunately, the following easy steps can help prevent these costly accidents.Institute a safety policy
A workplace safety policy should not only help employees recognize hazards, but also provide details on managing and preventing such hazards.
Should an accident occur, promptly file an accurate incident report and take steps to prevent future accidents.Eliminate the hazards
The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) reported that approximately half of slip and trip accidents result from wet, unclean, or damaged surfaces. To avoid these accidents:
- Clean spills promptly. Use floor fans to help wet areas dry quickly.
- Mark potential problem areas with hazard identification signs immediately.
- Treat smooth surface floors with a non-slip finish, or use slip-resistant rubber mats. Be sure to anchor all rugs and mats to the floor.
- Secure cords, cables and hoses to the floor. Avoid placing objects in front of doorways, across hallways, or in high foot-traffic areas.
- Avoid over-waxing floors, or leaving cleaning solution residue behind.
- Ensure employees wear shoes with a high coefficient of friction. Slip-on traction soles are available as well.
- Check lighting to ensure proper illumination in all areas.
Maintain compliance through continual reviews and employee education — the real keys to a successful program and a safe work environment.
Casey J. Cormier is the director of Creative Endeavors for Angel-GUARD Products, Inc., a Worcester, MA-based manufacturer of safety, rescue and industrial products.