Slips, trips, and falls are the most common causes of injuries in the workplace. At times, these incidents are minor. At other times, they’re serious, life-threatening incidents. When a business owner opens up their doors to the public, potential liability for a slip, trip, and fall also opens up. Countless organisations are sued each year, and these lawsuits cost businesses a lot of money. If an accident occurs, you’ll become the target of a personal injury lawsuit and be legally liable for the victim’s damages (medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, etc.). The average payout for a slip, trip, and fall accident in the UK involving a level of negligence can be high.
So, why should you care? A slip, trip, and fall accident; what’s the big deal? The financial impact of such an incident can range from a relatively minor inconvenience to a massive headache depending on the circumstances. Have business liability insurance coverage in place, not to mention worker’s compensation coverage. It’s impossible to prevent every accident from taking place, yet you can take steps to lower the risks of injury considerably. There are many ways to control slip, trip, and fall risks. Here are a few examples.
Understand The Main Causes of Slips, Trips, And Falls
As a rule, accidents aren’t the result of unknown causes but failure to apply well-known safety practices. Nonetheless, it helps to get a good understanding of the main causes of slips, trips, and falls. The causes are often oversimplified. The simplest explanation isn’t always the right one. Look at the problem from all angles and complexities before reaching a conclusion. Slip, trip, and fall accidents can happen for a number of reasons, including:
- Wet & uneven floors
- Environmental conditions
- Unsafe ladders & stairs
- Improper safety practices
Regularly inspect your business to understand what areas have the highest potential for risk. If you knew or should have known about the hazards through reasonable inspection and failed to take measures, then liability attaches. All the injured party has to do to collect a compensation award is to prove that you were negligent with respect to the ownership and/or maintenance of the property.
Practice Good Housekeeping in The Workplace
Housekeeping is of the essence for workplace safety. You should clean before and after normal work hours. IT’s necessary to clean the floors and surfaces, remove dust, and organise clutter. Hiring a professional cleaning service is the best possible course of action. It’ll eliminate the hidden risks around you, so you don’t have to worry that the place isn’t in tip-top shape when clients or other people pay you a visit. You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference a professional cleaning service can make. Substandard quality in your property’s housekeeping can give rise to a high number of injuries and accidents.
Make Sure to Display Warning Signs About Hazards
Warning signs ought to be put in place to signal a hazardous situation or a hazard that’s likely to be life-threatening. The aim is to make sure that staff and visitors are aware of the possible dangers ahead of time. In the absence of warning signs, people will lack the necessary direction in the event of a crisis. Therefore, if you can’t fix a problematic situation right away, at least put up warning signs to alert others until you can see to the matter. The signs will keep the workplace safe. To be most effective, they should be easy to understand. Without a clear understanding of the danger present in different settings, individuals won’t know how to behave safely.
Let’s not forget about location. The signage should be placed as close as possible to the hazard so that it’s relevant. Place the signs in highly visible locations, at eye level. Should a sign become damaged, stained, or faded, replacing it should be your number one concern. It’s not a good idea to place too many signs together because it can lessen the visual impact. Having one safety sign after the other creates confusion. If similar signage is needed in the same place, the message should be conveyed in a similar manner. Before posting a sign, think about its message. It’s easy to go overboard, just so you know.
Keep Walking Areas Clear from Obstructions
The floors should be suitable, in good condition, and free from obstacles. Keep them away from walkways and workspaces. Obstacles fall into two different categories:
- Temporary: tools, cables, boxes, temporary storage, etc.
- Permanent: furniture, shelving, poorly located machines, ground fittings/ fixtures, etc.
Make it a rule to continuously check areas to make sure the workplace is free from clutter. You’re required to make reasonable adjustments to your business premises. It’s possible to avoid a slip, trip, and fall claim by simply eliminating obstacles.
Maintain Adequate Lighting Throughout the Workplace
Inadequate lighting makes an otherwise safe property dangerous. What happens is that people can slip, trip, and fall because they can’t see the hazardous conditions. For instance, due to the dark, someone can fall in a parking lot or take one wrong step. As you can imagine, the situation escalates quickly. Have proper lighting inside and outside the building to reduce the likelihood that an individual will slip, trip, or fall. The resulting injuries can be serious or fatal. It’s easy to improve lighting without increasing the number of lightbulbs or light fixtures. One solution would be to change the position of the light sources.
In case you didn’t already know, LED lights offer stronger and more consistent lighting. Plus, it used the same amount of energy as incandescent lights. Unfortunately, LEDs are prone to damage from power surges and dirty power. A ballast may be required, which helps avoid a current rise in the bulbs. Once you determine where improvements can be made, you can make the transition to LED lights and reap the benefits. Install adequate illumination in walkways, staircases, and other commonly accessed areas. Handle ineffective and broken lighting immediately. It should be at the top of your mind.
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