While some workplaces are conducive to injuries—like construction sites or manufacturing plants—many offices, retail shops and other quieter environments present less dangers to employees. However, the risk for trips and slips is always present. In fact, trips and slips are the most common workplace injuries across general industries, contributing to about 65 percent of lost work days.
Most trips or slip incidents are minor and may only result in a brief pain or a bruise, so it may sound silly to consider more serious risks. But in certain conditions, trips or slips can have more dire consequences, like sprains, breaks or even lacerations. Let’s take a closer look at some of the conditions that may lead to a trip or slip.
- Trip: This usually occurs when an individual runs into an object that knocks him or her off balance. Conditions that contribute to trips include a cluttered workplace, poor lighting, messy or uncovered wiring, wrinkled or frayed carpeting, open drawers and more.
- Slip: This usually occurs when there’s a loss of friction or traction between an individual’s shoes and the floor. Conditions that contribute to slips include spills, wet surfaces, certain weather conditions, loose rugs and more.
If an employee trips or slips and suffers an injury that could’ve been prevented, he or she may be entitled to file a workers compensation claim against the business to recover losses for medical expenses and lost wages during recovery. The best way to protect your business and your employees’ safety is to take measures to prevent similar incidents from occurring. A little bit of housekeeping can go a long way toward a safer workplace.
- Clean up cluttered areas and focus on keeping them tidy in the future
- Clean up spills or leaks as quickly as possible
- Until wet spots are cleaned, mark them to warn employees of a risky area
- Keep walkways and common areas free of obstacles and debris
- Coil wires neatly against walls and cover any that must be placed on the floor
- Close drawers when not in use
- Secure rugs with tape or no-slip mats to prevent unwanted movement
- Ensure adequate lighting in all workspaces
With a few simple workplace practices, you can create a safer environment for everyone. But risk is never completely erased, which is why workers compensation insurance offers valuable protection for your business.