Sometimes, the simplest workplace accidents pose the biggest risk for employees. Slips and falls, for instance, are the second-leading cause of on-the-job injuries. Overexertion tops the list.
Like most work-related accidents, though, slips and falls are easy to prevent. Cooperation between employers, workers and outside interests is key. EHS Today, an occupational safety and health magazine, offers important advice.
How employers can prevent slip-and-fall accidents
EHS Today says accident prevention starts with a comprehensive safety audit. It should include a review of previous incidents to identify and address issues of risk. The storage of liquids, a common source of the accidents, deserves special attention.
Employers also should consult with their outside resources. Both floor care vendors and insurance carriers are great sources of information.
Employees have an important role, too, because they can identify potential safety hazards. But will their supervisors listen? Workers may have to seek the help of their union or a government safety agency.
Why employers fail to prevent accidents
It seems obvious that employers would want to protect their workers, but that is not always the case. Injury-related costs, such as insurance, corrective measures and possible safety fines, undermine profits.
Companies can be short-sighted, though, preferring to save money on safety training. Some employers accept accidents are part of the cost of doing business. They may think employees believe the same. In other words, management does not care enough about worker safety to address issues.
Unfortunately, injured workers bear the consequences of employer negligence. One rule of thumb: The sooner a worker takes action, the better.
How you can protect yourself
Employers who ignore worker safety are unlikely to aid someone who suffers an injury on the job. Too late, they realize money is at stake and will do whatever they can to protect the company’s bottom line.
Injured workers have their own priorities. They want to be healthy, maintain their career and provide for loved ones.