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Preventing slip-and-fall injuries in the medical field

Health care professionals have some of the riskiest jobs, and unfortunately, injury is all too common. Not only are they exposed to illnesses on a daily basis, but they also work long, busy shifts that can trigger overexertion and fatigue. One of the most frequent causes of medical workplace injuries are slip-and-fall incidents.

Slip-and-fall injuries are often preventable, yet they are the second most common cause of health care professional injuries. Unfortunately, slip-and-fall incidents can lead to serious injuries, such as:

  • Broken bones
  • Knee damage
  • Severe sprains
  • Head injuries
  • Joint dislocation

These types of injuries can lead to lost workdays for you and a heavier workload for your coworkers.

What causes slip-and-fall injuries?

Many hospitals and health care facilities have tile floors to make cleaning easier, but this can also be part of the problem. Any liquid contaminants such as water, soap or cleaning agents can make floors deceptively slippery. When the workplace gets busy, small spills or leaks can easily go unnoticed. Even the smallest of spills can cause serious damage.

Other risks to slip-and-fall injuries are cords, medical equipment or open cabinet doors. Clutter such as this can block work spaces, hallways or foot paths. These hazards increase your risk of tripping and hurting yourself.

Taking preventative measures

You want your workplace to be as safe as possible for you, your coworkers and your patients. The following practices can help you prevent slip-and-fall injuries from happening on the job:

  • Clean up small messes right away
  • Report serious spills that require heavy duty cleaning as soon as possible
  • Wear slip-resistant shoes
  • Keep hallways clear of clutter
  • Report burned-out light bulbs so areas stay well-lit
  • Store medical equipment out of the way when not in use
  • Put up wet floor signs when necessary
  • Use hand rails when available

The time it takes to clear a walkway or clean a puddle is insignificant compared to the time it can take to recover from a slip-and-fall injury. Knowing what you can do to prevent slip-and-fall accidents from happening in your workplace can ensure your safety and the safety of others.

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