Slip, trip and fall injuries are common in every industry, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health care workers have a higher risk for non-fatal slips, trips and falls than any other worker in any other industry. Most of these accidents are preventable, however, with good safety and housekeeping procedures.
Here are some things health care employers and workers can do to prevent accidents on the job:
- Clean up spills on the floor quickly. Floor contaminants, such as grease or liquid, are the leading causes of slip, trip and fall accidents in the health care setting.
- Use ladders and stools correctly.
- Make sure pipes drain correctly.
- Keep floor surfaces even. Watch for bumps or bulges in the flooring. Keep outside walks clean and well-maintained.
- Have good footwear with adequate tread.
- Make sure all areas are well-lit to keep staff aware of potential problems.
- Keep floor surfaces free of clutter, medical tubing and cables.
- Promptly remove ice and snow from outside walkways.
- Use proper signage to make staff alert of wet floors or problems that need to be fixed.
- Use floor mats and runners effectively and correctly.
Know the procedures to report an injury
When an injury does occur, it can be serious. The most common injuries in the health care setting are strains, sprains, bruises and fractures. Injuries can become worse if not treated right away. Health care facilities should have a plan in place to make sure the accident is reported and treatment is provided to the injured worker.
If you are seriously injured on the job in a slip-and-fall accident, it is important to speak with a lawyer about your workers’ compensation claim to have the strongest claim possible. You can hope the insurance company will provide the benefits and coverage you need, but you may need an advocate on your side to make sure you receive full and fair compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, rehabilitation and other costs resulting from the accident.