It’s Fall, so

Slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of worker’s compensation claims and are the leading cause of occupational injury for individuals aged 55 years and older. A slip and fall accident occurs when someone slips on a smooth or wet surface or trips on a rough or uneven surface. The most common injuries are to their backs, necks, knees and arms. Slip and fall accidents make up 15% of all worker’s compensation claims with the average cost around $22,000.

A “slip” typically occurs when there is not enough friction or traction between the feet and the walking surface. The most common causes of slips are wet surfaces, ice or other weather hazards, spills, and poor tread on footwear. Many slip & fall accidents can be prevented with precautionary measures that include the following:

  • Wet surfaces: Shorten your stride, walk with feet pointed out slightly, and make wider turns.
  • Spills: Clean up immediately. If you are unfamiliar with the contents of the spill, assume that it is a water or oil based liquid.
  • Weather hazards: Walk slower so you can react to traction changes. Wear slip resistant shoes or boots, and dry off shoes as soon as practical after entering a building (wet shoes on dry floors are as dangerous as dry shoes on wet floors).
  • Poor tread on footwear, or generally poor traction: Wear slip resistant footwear, apply abrasive strips to smooth walking surfaces, post warnings.

A “fall” typically occurs when the foot strikes an object and momentum throws off balance. To minimize the potential for this type of injury:

  • Do not allow carried packages to obstruct your view.
  • Use only safe walkways.
  • Close desk and file drawers when not in use.
  • Report burned out or missing lights.
  • Report any uneven or broken pavement, sidewalks, or handrails.

According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, more than 8.7 million people are injured from slip, trip and fall incidents every year. It is imperative that everyone assess their surroundings, stay alert and pay attention when they walk to ensure they do not have any slip and fall accidents. (click here for a printable copy)

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