How to Prevent Slips, Trips, and Falls in the Workplace

How to Prevent Slips, Trips, and Falls at Work

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How to Prevent Slips, Trips, and Falls in the Workplace

Many of us have slipped or tripped and fallen at work, whether slipping on a freshly mopped floor or tripping over our own feet. Such accidents often result in little more than embarrassment and bruises. However, in some cases, employees suffer severe and even life-altering injuries in workplace falls. Slip and fall accidents can also result in spiraling healthcare costs and lost income, throwing individuals and families into financial chaos.

However, slips and falls are largely preventable. Employers, employees, property owners, and contractors at your work site share the responsibility to prevent fall injuries.

If you were hurt at work, you could qualify for workers’ compensation and, in some cases, file a personal injury lawsuit. Morgan & Morgan’s experienced slip and fall lawyers can help you understand your legal options and the next best steps. Contact us today for a free case review.

Common Causes of Slips and Falls in the Workplace

Slips, trips, and falls can happen in any workplace, from offices to factories to construction sites. Some of the most common causes of falls at work include:

Wet or slippery surfaces: Wet floors, spills, and freshly cleaned or waxed surfaces can be extremely slippery and easily cause falls.

Uneven floors: Dips in flooring, loose or broken tiles, and obstacles in the path can cause workers to trip, stumble, and fall.

Poor lighting: Poorly lit areas can make it difficult for workers to see steps or obstacles, leading to falls.

Inadequate footwear: Wearing footwear without proper grip or support can make it easier to slip and fall in the workplace.

Cluttered workspaces: Cables, equipment, and other objects cluttering workspaces and floors can cause hazards and falls.

Weather conditions: Rain, ice, and snow can make outdoor areas slippery and increase the risk of worker falls.

Fatigue or rushing: Workers who are overly tired or rush through tasks are more likely to misstep and fall.

Slips, trips, and falls can cause severe injuries. If you or a family member suffered a fall at work, a slip and fall lawyer at Morgan & Morgan could help identify your next best steps. You could be entitled to workers’ compensation payments and, in some cases, additional damages.

Preventing Slips and Falls at Work

Slips and falls are one of the most common workplace accidents and can lead to catastrophic and even fatal injuries. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 850 workers died from fall injuries in 2021, representing a 5.6 percent increase compared to 2020.  

Fortunately, you and your employer can take various steps to prevent workplace slips, trips, and falls. Some of the most effective strategies for preventing falls at work include:

Identifying and Addressing Hazards

The first step in preventing slips and falls in the workplace is to identify and address potential hazards, such as:

  • Slippery floor coverings
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Cluttered work areas and walkways
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Loose mats and rugs

Employers should regularly inspect the workplace to identify dangerous conditions or maintenance issues that could lead to slips and falls. They should also encourage employees to report any problems, such as spills or damaged flooring. Once hazards are identified, employers should take timely action to fix the problems, such as:

  • Cleaning up spills promptly
  • Repairing damaged flooring
  • Decluttering walkways

Wearing Proper Footwear

Wearing adequate shoes can prevent you from slipping, tripping, and falling on the job. Some employers provide employees with appropriate footwear, such as slip-resistant shoes or boots. However, if your employer does not offer such footwear, ensure you wear sensible shoes suitable for your work environment. Replace your shoes or boots when they are too worn to provide good traction.

Using Signs Alerting to Dangers

Another effective strategy for preventing slips and falls in the workplace is to use signage to alert employees to potential dangers, such as:

  • Warning signs for wet or recently waxed floors
  • Signs informing workers to stay out of a dangerous area
  • Caution signs for uneven floors, hidden steps, and other hazards

The signage should be visible and easy to understand.

Maintaining Good Lighting

Good lighting is essential for preventing slips and falls in the workplace. Employers must ensure adequate lighting in hallways, stairwells, and other areas prone to accidents.

If there are poorly lit areas, employers should take steps to improve the lighting, such as:

  • Installing additional light fixtures
  • Replacing burned-out bulbs promptly
  • Removing obstructions that may be blocking lights
  • Frequently cleaning lights that are prone to gather dirt and dust

Providing Adequate Safety Training

Proper training can be crucial for preventing slips and falls in the workplace. Employers should ensure employees know how to identify and respond to slip and fall hazards. Training should also include information on how workers can safely navigate slippery surfaces, avoid falls, and safely navigate staircases and other elevated surfaces.

Encouraging Good Housekeeping

Good housekeeping practices can be essential for preventing workplace slips and falls. Keep your work areas clean, organized, and free of obstacles that could cause you or others to trip, such as unsecured cables on the floor. Employers should ask workers to clean up spills promptly and keep floors and walkways free from clutter.

If you suffered a slip and fall injury at work, contact our experienced slip and fall lawyers, who can guide you through the process of recovering damages. Businesses have legal responsibilities to their employees, and an employer, property owner, or another party may be responsible for your damages.

Common Workplace Fall Injuries

Slip, trip, and fall injuries in workplaces such as construction can be particularly severe. Workers may fall from great heights, such as high ladders and roofs, or into excavation trenches and other openings. However, even those working in offices or retail stores can suffer significant fall injuries. Common injuries in slips, trips, and falls at work can include:

  • Soft tissue injuries such as sprains and strains
  • Broken bones
  • Spinal fractures and other back injuries
  • Head injuries, such as a concussion or traumatic brain injury
  • Cuts and bruises

Slip and fall injuries can have severe and lasting effects on an employee’s health and ability to work. Morgan & Morgan sees the far-reaching impacts of workplace injuries every day. Injured employees often face significant physical, emotional, and financial turmoil. Moreover, medical and rehabilitation expenses can cause individuals and families to worry about making ends meet and their future financial stability.

Our slip and fall lawyers are here for you. We can help you navigate the complex workers’ compensation process and determine whether you qualify for a lawsuit.

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  • Can I Sue for a Workplace Slip and Fall?

    Whether you can file a personal injury lawsuit and recover damages depends on the circumstances of your workplace slip and fall. In most cases, employees hurt at work qualify for workers’ compensation. As a result, employees usually cannot pursue an injury claim against their employer.

    However, while workers’ compensation reimburses you for most of your lost wages and medical treatments, it does not allow you to recover damages such as pain and suffering. In some cases, employees could pursue such additional damages by filing a suit against a third party. For example, if a negligent property owner or contractor on your job site caused your slip and fall, you could file a lawsuit against them.

    Since you could have several options for recovering justice after a slip and fall at work, consider speaking to an experienced slip and fall lawyer at Morgan & Morgan to learn about your rights.

  • Which Compensation Can I Receive for a Workplace Fall?

    If you get injured at work, you could have several options for recovering compensation, including a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit. Here is a closer look at your options:

    Workers’ Compensation Claim

    Workers’ compensation is based on a no-fault system, meaning you could qualify for benefits even if you were partially or wholly responsible for your fall. The following benefits may be available with workers’ compensation:

    • Wage replacement up to a maximum
    • All necessary healthcare costs due to the work injury
    • Death benefits for surviving family members

    Workers’ comp claims are not always straightforward, and some are denied at the first hurdle. If you are struggling to get the benefits you deserve or had your workers’ comp claim denied, Morgan & Morgan’s slip and fall lawyers could help.

    Personal Injury Lawsuit

    Independent contractors or those whose employer is not insured cannot claim workers’ compensation benefits. However, if you don’t qualify for workers’ compensation, you could sue and recover a settlement if another party caused your fall negligently. A slip and fall lawyer can help you file a lawsuit and pursue compensation.

  • What Are My Best Steps After a Slip and Fall at Work?

    A severe fall at work can be a distressing experience impacting your physical and financial health. However, taking some crucial steps can help you get your health back on track and recover the compensation you deserve. Here are your next best steps:

    1. Seek Medical Attention for Your Injury.

    Depending on the severity of your injury, you may need to visit the emergency room or an urgent care facility to get a prompt diagnosis and treatment. However, even if the injury seems minor, it is best to get it checked out by a medical professional to ensure that there are no underlying issues that could cause future complications. Seeing a doctor can also be crucial for your workers’ compensation claim or lawsuit, as you must prove your injuries and medical bills with relevant documentation.

    2. Inform Your Employer

    Report your injury to your employer as soon as possible and follow their reporting procedures, such as filling out an incident report. Your employer should also begin the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim on your behalf.

    3. File a Workers’ Compensation Claim

    Your employer should provide you with workers’ compensation claim forms to fill out. Ensure to include the relevant medical evidence for your workplace injuries.
    Once you have filed the claim, the workers’ comp insurance company might ask you to undergo further medical evaluations.

    4. Contact a Slip and Fall Lawyer

    If you suffered significant or life-changing injuries in a workplace slip and fall, consider consulting with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Sometimes, employers or insurance companies deny valid workers’ compensation claims. Moreover, depending on the circumstances of your case, you could be entitled to additional compensation with a personal injury lawsuit. A Morgan & Morgan slip and fall lawyer can help you recover what you deserve.

  • Can I Afford a Slip and Fall Lawyer?

    Most personal injury attorneys do not charge upfront fees and work on a “no-win-no-fee” basis. However, depending on the law firm you work with, you may be on the hook for out-of-pocket legal expenses, such as deposition costs, court filing expenses, and expert witness fees.

    Morgan & Morgan’s fee is free unless and until we recover compensation for you. You don’t have to worry about paying anything out of your pocket when we handle your lawsuit or workers’ compensation case.

  • Morgan & Morgan Fights for Injured Workers

    You should not have to pay for another’s mistake or carelessness. Most falls in the workplace are preventable. If an employer failed to prevent slips and falls or a third party carelessly caused your fall, you could be entitled to damages.

    Unfortunately, getting what you deserve can be tricky, whether with a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit. However, you do not have to struggle on your own. Morgan & Morgan’s determined slip and fall lawyers can be here for you.

    Get started now and contact us for a free case review to discover your options.

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