At the workplace, a lot can go wrong in terms of employee safety. Thats why standard safety practices are emphasized, prominent display boards tally how many days a factorys staff has gone without an injury, and supervisors are constantly telling workers to slow down and be careful.
Surprisingly, in the midst of all of this concern for safety, slip and fall accidents on the same level are the second leading cause of workplace injury. A whopping 13.6% of all direct costs associated with workplace injuries ($6.6 billion in 2005, for instance) result from slip and falls, not trips down stairs or off scaffolding. In addition to the direct costs, an additional $65 billion was paid out in workers compensation and other medical costs due to slip and fall incidents.These figures are even more surprising when one considers that other causes of workplace injuries have slowed in recent years due to increased awareness, training and improvement of workplace conditions.
All of these workers who slip and fall slow down overall productivity, spending an average of eight days away from work, more than those who are injured from other causes, who spend only six days off. Almost one-third of slip and fall injuries resulted in 21 or more workdays lost, an indication of the frequent seriousness of slip and fall accidents. These mishaps also cause more than 20% of disabling injuries on the job, and are the leading cause of death, as hard as that might be to believe.
A full two-thirds of slip and falls occur on level walking surfaces, not falls from a height, as many would assume. The services, wholesale and retail trade industries were the primary sectors where these same-level slip and fall incidents happened.
Finally, when the bottom line is considered, slip and fall accidents are no laughing matter to employers, who shell out $40,000 per incident on these injuries. A huge 15% of all workers compensation expenses are given to pay for slip and falls on the job.
When you consider the types of injuries that can occur during workplace slip and falls, you can understand how the bills mount up quickly for employer and employee. From bruises, hip fractures and head injuries to spine, forearm, leg, ankle, upper arm and hand fractures, slip and fall accidents can bring on a lot of pain and suffering. When you factor in trauma to the head, which often occurs as falls are executed without any limbs extended to cushion the blow, you can understand why some workplace slip and falls can lead to incapacitation and even death.
If you have suffered a slip and fall at work, dont hesitate to call a slip and fall lawyer to discuss how to pursue your case. The law can become quite complicated when workers compensation is figured into your accident, and such compensation might not cover all of your expenses, lost work time and pain and suffering.
Contact a slip and fall attorney immediately after any fall at the workplace. Our staff is expertly trained in pursuing such claims with employers. We have years of experience that will be put to work for you so that you are never shortchanged after a slip and fall at work.
In the meantime, note these common hazards (and avoid them) at the workplace:
- Wet, oily walkways
- Floor surfaces in need of repair, with holes and uneven portions causing problems
- Loose mats and rugs that are unanchored to the floor surface
- Spills of any kind on floors
- Weather hazards, such as ice, rain and snow
To guard against slip and falls at the workplace, employers should take care of the following:
- Employee training on the risks of walking in certain areas at work
- Consistent instruction and monitoring on proper footwear on the job
- Maintenance of all floors in clean and dry condition
- Elimination of any nails, splinters, holes or loose boards in floors
- Clearing of all aisles and passages through removal of obstructions
- Placement of mats and runners where traction is questionable due to contaminants and foreign?materials on floor surfaces
- Signs of warning placed immediately if a slip and fall hazard has been identified
If youve slipped and fallen on the job, act quickly to ensure access to workers compensation benefits. You must first seek medical attention for your injury, even if you dont think it is severe. If you wait to take care of your healthcare needs, it could become too late to get the benefits to which you are entitled. Go to the emergency room or make an appointment with a doctor for an evaluation immediately after a slip and fall incident.
You also need to notify your employer of your injury, because deadlines for workers compensation claims could be as soon as three days after the accident. Keep track of your medical bills as you see healthcare professionals. Your employers insurance company will pay for those bills within a certain timeframe. There is the possibility that your expenses will go far beyond what workers compensation will pay, however.
Thats another excellent reason to contact slip and fall lawyers in Philadelphia to help you with your case. Workers compensation through your employers insurer might not be enough to cover the months of rehab that you might need, or compensate you for any pain and suffering.