June has the distinction of being National Safety Month. Not only does that make it the perfect opportunity for employers to talk about fall prevention in the workplace, but it offers a chance for everyone to lower their fall risk. In fact, the second week in June is especially focused on reducing the likelihood of slips, trips, and falls through preventative measures.
The High Cost of Falls
Every year, more than three million seniors visit the emergency room for fall-related injuries. Their collective yearly related medical expenses are estimated to top more than $31 billion. Additionally, many men and women over age 65 who fall risk injury or even death.
In the workplace, statistics are equally sobering. Hundreds of thousands of slip and fall cases annually leave workers unable to do their jobs because of a fall injury. Some turn to workers’ compensation and are eventually able to return to their careers. Others must give up working because of the severity of their medical problems.
Preventing Falls, Slips, and Trips
The best way to avoid a slip, fall, or trip injury is to take steps to reduce the likelihood an incident will occur. Some best practices for securing any workspace, home, community center, or other area against falls include:
- Clean up any liquid spills immediately. The faster the moisture can be removed, the better the traction.
- Fix any carpet or flooring that has come loose. Have a carpet edge that always becomes dislodged? Repair it immediately so no one trips or loses their balance.
- Move objects from walkways to storage places. Hallways, entrances, and exits are no places for loose cables, dangling cords, unused boxes, or other items.
- Make sure all rooms and hallways are adequately lit. Dim areas make walking confidently difficult.
- Ensure all employees wear appropriate footwear. Some footwear, such as shoes without backs, make tripping and falling more likely.
- Check fall protection gear on a regular basis. Defective, broken, or worn out equipment can have catastrophic consequences if it fails to function properly.
- Maintain the integrity of stairwells, bannisters, scaffolding, and other high places. Conduct inspection rounds regularly and make repairs as soon as a problem is reported.
- Close drawers, especially ones that stick out into aisles and walkways.
- Create a safety culture at work. Start by honoring National Safety Month and coordinate efforts to make the workplace as safe as possible.
Using good judgment when it comes to prevention of slips, trips, and falls involves staying aware and doing the right things whether at home or in an occupational setting.
Virginia Beach Personal Injury Lawyers Help Injured Victims Recover Damages After Avoidable Slips, Trips, and Falls
When slips, trips, and falls happen due to negligence of another party, our Virginia Beach personal injury lawyers are here to help. Contact East Coast Trial Lawyers by calling 757-352-2237 to arrange a free consultation or complete an online contact form. From our offices in Virginia Beach, our firm works with clients from areas across the region including Suffolk, Newport News, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Eastern Shores, and Hampton, Virginia.