Slip and Fall Accidents: Most Common Causes and How to Keep Yourself Safe

Slip and Fall Accidents: Most Common Causes and How to Keep Yourself Safe | HealthSoul

Slip and fall accidents are among the most common types of injuries, affecting over one million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While a slip and fall accident might sound like a minor thing, it can cause life-altering injuries or even death if it happens on a hard floor or lands in a compromised manner.

Thankfully, by learning about the common causes of slips and falls, you can prevent these accidents from happening to you or any other person in your workplace.

Here are some common causes of slip and fall accidents and how to keep safe.

Wet and Slippery Floors

Wet and slippery floors account for more than 50% of slip and fall accidents in the U.S. If you fall on a wet or slippery surface, you may suffer injuries in different parts of the body, including crucial areas like the spinal cord and the head.

Wet surfaces may not always be visible, especially when oil or chemicals like hydraulic fluid are involved. Even floors that look dry can still be slippery if dust or sand is present.

To stay safe from slipping on wet or slippery surfaces, wear shoes with good traction and use non-slip mats when possible. Moreover, avoid walking too fast on recently mopped surfaces as this can cause your feet to skid.

Lack of Signs Warning of Hazards

Employers are required by law to provide warning signs on the ground near any potential hazards. Some common examples are puddles, wet floors, ice patches, uneven surfaces, or anything that could cause a slip or fall.

Warning signs should be easily noticeable and include information about what can cause a slip or fall hazard, how to prevent it, and who to contact if someone has been injured. If you don’t see any signs warning you of any potential danger in an area that’s prone to slip and fall, be sure to ask your supervisor or safety officer about it.

Poor Lighting

Inadequate lighting does not only affect the productivity of employees; it also puts them at risk of occupational accidents. Poor lighting makes it hard to spot slip and fall hazards such as spills, fallen items, and other obstacles.

OSHA recommends that employers provide at least 300 Lumens per square foot to allow employees to complete their tasks safely.

Construction Debris

If you work in the construction industry, chances are you’ve seen or even stepped on a fair share of debris. Construction debris is also common in workspaces undergoing renovation.

Though it can seem like something you are used to seeing and stepping on every day, construction debris still poses serious risks. For example, if sawdust comes into contact with water, it can become slippery, and trigger falls.

Employees working in an area prone to debris should be extra careful of things like loose wires, tools left out, and holes in the floor.

If possible, avoid walking through areas that are being worked on. And if you must walk on them, watch your step and take care not to trip over anything.

Defective Hand Rails

Handrails are a basic requirement in stairways, ramps, and other areas where employees are at risk of falling. If a handrail is loose, missing, or broken, it can create a serious hazard for employees.

Employers should inspect handrails regularly and repair or replace them as needed.

What if You are Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident?

Despite all the measures employers and employees put in place, slip and fall accidents are fairly common in any work environment. The good news is that you may be able to collect compensation if you are injured in a slip and fall accident at work.

However, it is necessary to work with a lawyer as your employer, or their insurer may not be willing to accept liability or offer what you rightfully deserve. Some benefits a lawyer can help you recover include reimbursement of medical bills or income replacement.