Uncovering Slip and Fall Safety Hazards in the Workplace
July 17, 2018
After overexertion, slip and falls are the second leading cause of workplace injuries. To ensure workers do not fall on the job, companies should first conduct a formal floor safety audit. While formal floor safety audits are not mandatory, they are better at preventing workplace injuries than the required inspections.
Facilities are required to inspect all walking-working surfaces regularly and as necessary. Many inspections now focus on floor safety issues after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration revised the walking-working surface regulation two years ago. Yet, inspections are not as comprehensive as full audits.
Benefits to Conducting Floor Safety Audits
Formally-trained walkway auditors conduct the floor safety audits. They may be conducted internally or externally. The National Floor Safety Institute maintains a list of certified walkway auditors who conduct floor safety audits to ascertain whether walking surfaces are potentially-hazardous. While time-consuming, audits reveal issues that need to be addressed to prevent the risk of employee injuries or illnesses, including:
- Unsafe conditions
- Variations from standard operating procedures
- Areas that need preventative maintenance
- Other injury risks
Review Incident Reports and Floor Plans
In addition to assessing audit results, incident reports can help routine inspectors pinpoint what to look for throughout the facility. Incident reports alert supervisors of risks that need to be monitored between inspections. Knowing where slip and falls have occurred allows supervisors to address those specific areas and eliminate hazards, consequently preventing other employees from being injured in that location as well.
Like incident reports, using floor plans to identify areas where liquids are stored and transferred can aid in preventing unforeseen floor safety hazards. Also, having spill-response materials available in these areas allow employees to clean up small leaks, drips, and spills as they happen to prevent slip and fall risks.
Use Employees and Vendors as Resources
Employees who use the facility regularly will often know where floor safety hazards exist. Asking employees to submit floor safety hazards, like leaky soap dispensers, uneven floors, and dripping pipes can be just as effective as a formal safety audit. Additionally, companies can use floor care vendors as resources for the most up-to-date and appropriate products for varying floor types.
While a worker can obtain Workers’ Compensation benefits when injured on the job, a third party can be responsible for any injuries incurred in a building where the office is located or on an external surface apart from where the work directly takes place. For example, if a worker slip and falls on an uneven surface in the building where their work is located, but the building is owned by a different party other than their employer, this can be grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Help Injured Workers Obtain the Compensation They Deserve
If you are a victim of a workplace accident, it is important to seek representation from a well-established, reputable firm. At DiTomaso Law, our lawyers fight to obtain the maximum compensation that our clients are entitled. With an office conveniently located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, our Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation lawyers will review your case and help you determine the best course of action. Contact us online or call 856-414-0010 for a free consultation today.
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