Preventing Slips and Falls in the Workplace

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As a business owner, you need to do what you can to prevent lawsuits. All it takes is a single serious accident on your premises to put your company out of business. Even if you have solid liability insurance and exceptional workers’ compensation insurance, it is in your best interests to do what you can to prevent injuries. After all, filing a claim for an injury that occurs on your premises will cause your liability insurance or workers’ compensation insurance rates to soar. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to prevent these types of incidents.

Slip and Fall Accidents

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, approximately 15 percent of work-related deaths are caused by slip-and-fall accidents. The National Safety Council has issued reports that say that up to nine million disabling slip-and-fall accidents happen each year in the United States. Auto accidents are the leading cause of death in the workplace, but slip-and-fall accidents come in at a close second. For these reasons and many others, it is imperative to take the appropriate steps to minimize the risk of slips and falls at your place of business. No matter what type of company you run, there are plenty of ways to reduce the risk of slip-and-fall accidents.

Lawsuits, Fines and High Insurance Fees

At the very least, slip-and-fall accidents can cost you a lot of money in the form of lawsuits, high insurance premiums and OSHA and ADA fines. These costs are generally quite preventable. Over time, they can contribute to the demise of your business. There are ways to prevent slip-and-fall accidents. Many methods require an initial up-front investment. However, it is worth it to spend money now to avoid fines, fees and lawsuits later. A few of the best ways to prevent slips and falls in the workplace include:

Assessing the Situation – To determine whether or not the floors in your workplace are safe, you should have them assessed for surface friction. A certain amount of friction should exist. If it doesn’t, you may have to invest in new flooring.

Floor Mats – If your existing floors don’t have enough friction, you may be able to avoid buying new flooring by investing in high-quality mats. There are many mats out there that are specifically designed for the workplace. Specialized mats with slip-resistant backs and other safety features can help to minimize the risk of slip-and-fall accidents at your place of business.

Proper Cleaning – It is critical to keep the floors in your workplace as clean as possible. That’s especially true if you run a business that is predisposed to dirty floors, such as a restaurant or factory. Special degreasing products can be used to make floors as clean as possible. Extensive amounts of scrubbing may be necessary too. When the cleaning is complete, the floors should always be rinsed with hot, clean water.

Footwear – Another option is to make slip-resistant footwear mandatory for all employees. This won’t help to prevent customers from slipping and falling, however.

As you can see, there are many ways to keep slips and falls at bay in the workplace. It’s in your best interests to do whatever it takes to prevent these types of accidents. Take the steps that are needed to make your workplace as safe as possible today.

Citations:

This guest post was written by independent journalist Daniel C. Fitzgerald who frequently blogs about Floor Products and Recessed Mats.

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