Work-related slip-and-fall accidents can lead to serious and sometimes debilitating injuries — including injuries of the knee, wrist, shoulder, back, and head.
Workers’ compensation in Iowa allows for coverage of all related reasonable medical expenses, as well as a portion of one’s paycheck for the duration of disability. However, many employers and insurers challenge these claims, so it’s important to work with an experienced Coralville workers’ compensation attorney.
How Can Employers Prevent Worker Slip-and-Fall Accidents?
Although no workplace can be made entirely free of hazards, employers have responsibilities as outlined by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Chief among those is the duty to provide a workplace free of serious recognized hazards and to comply with the standards, rules, and regulations issued under the OSHA Act.
When it comes to prevention of job-related slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall dangers, there are numerous specific steps employers can take to reduce the risk, as outlined by EHS Today. These include:
- Organizing a formal audit. Many employers conduct safety audits as a matter of routine, though there is no question such efforts are time-consuming. The goal is to identify potentially unsafe conditions and any deviation from the company’s standard operating procedures and issues that might require some type of preventative measure. Although most safety audits don’t expressly include issues with floor safety, 29 CFR 1910.22(d)(1) does indicate that all walking work surfaces should be inspected regularly. Such an inspection can be conducted internally, but the company may also consider hiring a certified walkway auditor.
- Documenting incident reports. Although incident reports are more reactive than proactive, they allow companies to identify specific areas where there have been previously identified slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall dangers. Useful information can also allow the company to better identify the best use of resources, for instance focusing on the area in front of the cooler where several employees have fallen, rather than in the break room where no one has been hurt.
- Focus on the liquids. Companies can identify possible problems by specifically taking note of areas where liquids are known to be. If a drum of liquids arrives in bulk, follow its trail through the workplace from the time it arrives in the loading dock to the area where it is dispensed for use or sale.
- Seek vendor input. Floor care vendors are especially eager to secure customers likely to use their products in bulk. Ask for input from several companies about the type of products they use for which type of flooring, and how this may boost the coefficient of friction, which reduces the chances of a slip-and-fall accident.