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Why slips, trips and falls occur in the workplace

Workplace injuries are all to uncommon. A distracted worker may not notice a spilled substance and end up slipping or his or her vision might be obstructed by something he or she has been asked to carry and he or she goes tumbling down the stairs.These are just two examples of the many different types of slips, trips or falls that a worker might find him or herself involved in.

U.S. Department of Labor data suggests that of all types of workplace accidents, the combination of slips, trips or falls make up the large majority of all reported incidents. In fact, workers' compensation claims filed for injuries related to these types of events account for over 25 percent of all injury claims filed on an annual basis.

Slips, trips and falls are only second to car crashes in terms of resulting in an individual's accidental death. For those who survive their injuries, they lose more than 95 million work days each year, a number which accounts for at least 65 percent of employee's days off.

Among the most common reasons for trips or slips has to do with an individual having lost the necessary traction between the walking surface and his or her shoe. Unintentional contact with a moveable or fixed object is most responsible for employee falls.

There are many reasons slips, trips or falls occur in the workplace. While many might realize that greasy, freshly polished or wet floors carry with them a higher risk of a slip occurring, few may take into account just how potentially dangerous completely dry floors can be.

In the case of dry floors, any accumulation of powder or sawdust can be particularly unsafe. Transitions at thresholds, poorly installed tiling, loose flooring and uneven walking surfaces all have a strong potential for causing employee injury as well.

Aside from interior flooring, employees forced to carry out their work-related tasks among sloped surfaces, in cluttered work environments or in areas where there is significant electrical cording have a higher risk of tripping or falling than those who do not.

One of the obligations of employers is to ensure that they do everything within their power to protect the safety of their employees. If you've been injured in the workplace, a Los Lunas workers' compensation attorney can advise you as to how to pursue your injury case.

Source: reliableplant.com, "6 guidelines to prevent workplace slips, trips and falls," accessed May 19, 2017

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