Slips and Falls Account for 95 Million Lost Workdays Annually
Monday, September 22, 2014
A major culprit in lost workdays in the United States is accidental slips or falls. In fact, more than 95 million workdays are lost every year to sprains, broken bones and head injuries caused by falls on wet or unclean floors.
Reducing the incidence of injury from accidental slips is fairly straightforward, requiring only proper cleaning equipment, procedures and common sense.
Most falls occur on wet or oily surfaces. While it’s generally impractical to have an employee stand guard over floors that have just been mopped, it is wise to clearly mark the areas that are wet in a way that even distracted walkers will notice. Surround recently mopped floors with safety cones and signage that alerts anyone passing through to avoid the area or walk with extreme caution.
For areas that remain wet or oily for reasons other than cleaning procedures, use rubber mats in addition to cones and signage in order to protect anyone passing through.
Implement employee training and standard procedures for handling major spills that will impact others’ safety. Everyone should know where to find safety cones, signage and equipment to clean up unintended spills.
Require all employees to wear shoes or boots that fit the job. Many accidents happen because employees are working in boots with worn or inadequate tread. Acknowledge and reward employees that demonstrate an understanding of personal safety and establish the expectation for everyone to achieve similar standards.
These simple steps will keep employees out of the emergency room for accidental falls and it could save your company huge amounts in workers’ compensation claims. According to the Centers for Disease Control, US businesses lose about $70 billion annually to workers’ compensation costs associated with accidental falls.
They will also keep employees working—more than 30% of falls on flat surfaces result in 21 days of work lost, much longer than the average for other types of workplace injuries. Even more significantly, accidental falls on flat surfaces are on the rise, while other types of workplace injuries are on the decline.
Upgrading cleaning equipment, taking adequate safety measures and training employees isn’t beyond the reach of any business. Contact us today and we’ll help you find ways to save money while you protect the health and safety of all your employees.