No one wants to get hurt, especially while on the job. Employers don’t want their employees to get hurt either. If an employee is injured, it not only hurts the employee but it hurts the business in several ways as well. A workplace injury can cost you a worker and it can also cost a lot in worker’s compensation claims as well. Claims can cover the cost of the injury itself as well as any time off that a worker may need to take in order to receive treatment and heal from the accident in which they were involved. The good thing about workplace injuries is the fact that they can be prevented, and as a business owner, you can take the measures necessary in order to make your workplace safe and injury-free.
Most worker’s compensation claims are due to slips and falls. Slips, trips and falls can occur on a variety of different walking surfaces, including ramps and stairs which can increase the severity of the injuries. Certain conditions can turn surfaces into hazards, so it helps to be aware of what some of those conditions may include. The following issues can make a place more likely to cause a slip, trip or fall in the workplace:
- Slippery or uneven surfaces
- Broken or strewn items on floor and in walkway
- Inadequate spill cleanup
- Poor drainage
- Certain weather conditions
- Loose or wrinkled rug/carpet
- Poor lighting
- Obstructed views
Once you understand what can make your work area dangerous, you need to make sure that your space is accident-free and as safe as possible. You can begin by making sure that the floors in your workplace are safe. This may include examining the floor as well as determining whether the floor that you have is appropriate. If you are ever unsure of what is needed, approved, or what can be done, you can refer to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines.
In reference to the OSHA guidelines, there are several things you can check and consider regarding the walking surfaces at your place of business. Make sure that you have the appropriate flooring material in the environment in which you work, look out for any abrupt changes in walking surfaces that may be difficult to get used to or may interfere with traction, determine whether your business’s floor is cleaned regularly and properly, ensure that the floor cleaner that your business uses is certified by the NFSI or the National Floor Safety Institute while also ensuring that the floors are properly dried after cleaning and before working, look at any issues that the mops your company uses for cleaning may have and make sure that any cleaning tools that you use are appropriate, make sure that your employees wear the appropriate footwear and that your organization uses the appropriate warning signs for potential hazards among other necessary precautions.
OSHA Guidelines can also help you determine whether there are any other workplace hazards that you need to look out for. Every workplace is different and will have different aspects that may lead to accident or injury – slips and falls just happen to be the most common issue and is something that all businesses can work to prevent.