The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that slips, trips and falls in the hospital setting are the second most common cause of lost-workday injuries, and the rate for slips, trips and falls in hospitals is 90 percent higher than all other private industries combined. The most common types of injuries are sprains, strains, bruises and fractures, but cuts, lacerations and burns are also a consequence.
Unfortunately for the hundreds of workers injured each year, slips, trips and falls in the hospital are largely preventable. The leading cause of these types of accidents are contaminants on the floor, such as water, grease or other fluids. Employers should have well-documented housekeeping procedures, mats, signs and accessible cleanup materials. Employees should make sure to have slip-resistant shoes with good tread to minimize the risk of falling.
Other common causes of slips and falls include:
- Clutter in storage areas or work areas
- Poor lighting
- Ice and snow
- Poor drainage conditions
- Walking surface irregularities, such as uneven flooring, damaged floors or poorly maintained outdoor grounds
- Stairs and handrails which are not maintained properly
- Stepstools and ladders
- Improper use of floor mats and runners
Employers and employees should be aware of the slip, trip and fall rate at the hospital where they work. All members of the staff need to be aware of the hazards and trained to recognize risks to initiate a quick response to prevent accidents from occurring. When injuries do happen, the victim should seek treatment quickly to make sure not to further exacerbate the injury.
Slip, trip and fall injuries can be serious and prohibit a person from working for a long time. If you suffered an injury on the job, it can be beneficial to speak to a lawyer who understands workers’ compensation claims to help you through the paperwork and claim process to ensure you are taken care of. Workers’ compensation injuries can be complex, and having an experienced lawyer can strengthen your claim.