7 Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Slips, Trips and Falls

Colorado workers' compensation attorney R. Mack Babcock provides guidelines for employers and workers to prevent slips and falls on-the-job

According to the US Department of Labor, slips, trips and falls account for a huge majority of accidents in the workplace. Some of the percentages are staggering.

  • 15% of all accidental deaths in the workplace are a result of slips, trips and falls
  • Each year, falls are the cause of 95 million lost days from work
  • 25% of all reported workplace injuries are a result of these types of accidents

Needless to say, we as workers, as well as business owners, need to take serious measures to help prevent so many unnecessary injuries.

There are a variety of reasons that slips and falls occur.  Some of the most common include:

  • Falling down steps
  • Tripping over a box or something obstructing your path
  • Tripping over electrical cords
  • Slipping on a wet or greasy floor
  • Slipping on an icy area in the parking lot
  • Knocking into open desk drawers
  • Slipping with muddy boots or shoes
  • Slipping on newly polished waxed floors
  • Slipping on floors with no anti-skid surfaces
  • Tripping over missing tiles or uneven levels of flooring
  • Falling off ladders

Continue reading for 7 suggestions employers and employees can use to help prevent slips, trips and falls in the workplace.

  • There should always be proper lighting –Always make sure a work area is very well lit for employees to see appropriately.  If there is light that is burned out or a malfunction in the switch, fix it immediately.  As for an employee, whenever you walk into a room, always turn the switch on first to avoid tripping over anything in the room.
  • Always wear the appropriate shoes and other clothing – Whatever your job is, make sure you wear the proper footwear according to the types of responsibilities you have.  For example, if you are a warehouse worker, close toed and possibly steel toed shoes are appropriate. The slickness of the bottom of your soles can be an issue, especially if you work in food service.
  • Control your own behavior –This means to make proper decisions in the workplace.  Don't walk around texting and not paying attention to where you are going.  Don't get in so much of a hurry that you run throughout the building and end up slipping and falling.  Be smart!  Take care of yourself.  Some things can wait a few extra minutes to get accomplished so don't be in such an incredible hurry.
  • Make sure you reduce slippery and wet surfaces – Walking surfaces are reported as one of the most common areas where injuries occur.  Make certain that they are wiped down appropriately or that a sign is placed immediately to let others know that the surface is wet or slippery.  Broken bones and back injuries are most common to occur in these types of conditions.
  • Always maintain excellent housekeeping practices – This is so important!  Clean up your mess!!  Don't let others trip over the mess you have created.  At the workplace, make certain the employees know good housekeeping practices and safety go hand in hand.  Usually, companies with excellent housekeeping practices have much fewer accidents.  Make this a priority!
  • Avoid creating obstacles – Again, clean up your mess!  Be smart about where you place objects.  Don't lay down a box in an aisle even on a temporary basis without letting others know it is there.  Don't string cables and cords in a way where others will trip over them.  Make safety fun at the company by implementing a program – possibly even a reward – for following excellent safety practices.
  • Traction control should be monitored – Traction in an area outside can change drastically according to weather conditions.  Monitor these conditions on a regular basis and take appropriate measures.  Inside, always check to make sure your traction control procedures are working.  Use anti-skid paint or adhesive striping material when necessary.

As you can see, there are many ways a slip and fall accident can occur on the job.  We at Babcock Law sincerely hope both employers and workers take these recommendations and others like it seriously, and stay safe on the job.

But remember, if you are injured on the job, you are entitled to treatment and compensation for lost wages, regardless of fault. However, ensuring you receive all of these things can be challenging, which is why it's recommended you enlist the help of an attorney well versed in Colorado workers' comp law.

If you've sustained an on-the-job injury, contact attorney R. Mack Babcock and associates at the Babcock Law Firm for a free consultation, or continue browsing our workers' comp blog, knowledge resources and our exclusive (PDF) workers' comp e-book for more information.

Continue reading these related articles for more information…

**NOTE – this article and all content at Injurylawcolorado.com is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice

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