It only takes one quick slip. A wet floor, insecure rug, or old ladder could send an employee to the hospital due to an injury in your workplace. This could then lead to costly expenses and the loss of a valuable team member.
Slips, trips, and falls may seem like minor issues for business owners, but in reality, they constitute the majority of general industry accidents. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, slips, trips, and falls cause 15% of all accidental deaths, and are second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities. That’s a pretty shocking statistic — and one that can be reduced if you provide your employees with the proper information and education on how to prevent slips, trips, and falls.
Here are a few of the causes of slips, trips, and falls in the workplace:
- Wet product or spills on smooth floors or walking surfaces including water, mud, grease, oil, or food
- Highly-polished or freshly waxed floors that become slick when dry
- Sloped walking surfaces
- Loose, unanchored rugs
- Loose floorboards
- Ramps and floors without skid- or slip-resistant surfaces or rugs
- Climbing ladders
- Uncovered hoses, cables, wires of extension cords on floors, in aisles, or in walkways
- Open cabinets, file drawers, or doors
- Damaged steps
Here are some ways you, as a business owner, can prevent trips, falls, and slips in an office building, on a construction site, or at a restaurant.
Prevention at the Office
- Examine your workplace and look for ways to reduce the chance of injury.
- Roll out non-slip rugs when it rains or after floors have been polished. If a floor is wet due to rain or a spill, place “Slippery When Wet” caution signs around the area to notify employees to avoid walking in the area or to proceed with caution.
- Encourage employees to keep cabinets, file drawers, and doors closed.
- Encourage employees to maintain clean work spaces.
- Provide training to management and workers regarding risks for workplace injuries, including training on how to reduce and avoid injuries.
- Educate employees on Workers’ Compensation and disability benefits, including protections and accommodations offered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Prevention on a Construction Site
- Provide proper and safe equipment, especially if your workers are using a ladder. Ladders should always be inspected for cracks and defects before each use.
- Provide a clean and safe workspace and encourage workers to thoroughly clean the site of debris and hazards at the end of each day. Remember — a clean space is a safe space.
- Train your employees on how to properly use their tools, equipment, and machinery.
- Create a full fall prevention and safety plan that complies with OSHA law and regulations.
- Learn more about preventing falls at construction sites here.
Prevention at a Restaurant
- Make it mandatory that staff members wear non-slip shoes.
- Lay down secure, anchored rugs in the kitchens and walkways.
- Clean up spills immediately and place caution signs around the area to notify employees and patrons to avoid walking in that area or to proceed with caution.
- Repair uneven surfaces within the restaurant and on outside walkways. Train staff to report any problems they notice to management.
- Train employees on how to properly clean the restaurant and prevent spills, especially during peak hours.
All business owners must comply with OSHA laws and regulations. If you are a small business employer, you can contact OSHA’s free and confidential On-site Consultation Program to help determine whether there are hazards at your worksite and work with OSHA to correct any identified hazards.
In addition to our prevention tips and specific laws and regulations, it is mandatory for business owners to have Workers’ Compensation insurance in Massachusetts. If you have any questions, or would like to talk to one of our experienced commercial lines agents about Workers Compensation, please call us at (800) 333-7234, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website to learn more about the insurance solutions that we can provide for you.