We’ve all slipped on a slick floor, tripped over a child’s toy or fallen off a ladder. When it happens at home, we usually end up with minor, though sometimes embarrassing, bumps, bruises or scrapes. When it happens at work, it can be far more serious.
Slips, trips and falls are one of the top three leading causes of workplace fatalities. These types of workplace incidents also carry direct and indirect costs.
Direct costs, which include medical and income benefits for the injured worker, are covered by the insurance carrier. Indirect costs, such as making up for lost production, come out of your pocket. Indirect costs can be up to 10 times higher than direct costs.
The average non-fatal slip, trip or fall injury results in about $23,929 in direct costs. If we use a conservative one-to-two ratio, that seemingly minor injury will cost you $47,858.
So, that’s the bad news. The good news is that you can prevent most slips, trips and falls. Share these four tips with your employees to keep everyone’s feet on solid ground:
Wipe up spills, and keep walkways, steps and exits clear. Do not run extension cords across walkways. If you have to, secure them to the floor. Keep desk and file cabinet drawers closed when you’re not using them. Otherwise, unsuspecting co-workers might trip over them.
Walk, don’t run, making sure to slow down at blind corners. If you are carrying a load, make sure you can see over it. And never engage in horseplay or take shortcuts, such as jumping off loading docks or machinery.
Slip-resistant footwear can help protect you from injury, but consider it your last line of defense against accidents. Make sure the shoe or boot is rated for the hazards you encounter. Replace shoes when the soles are worn.
Here’s a rule of thumb: If you have a worn spot bigger than two pennies, it’s time for new shoes. If you work in a restaurant or other environment where wet floors are common, ask your employer about slip-resistant floor mats.
Learn how to set up, inspect and use ladders safely. On stairs, use the handrails, avoid distractions and take one step at a time. And always use fall protection equipment when required.
Texas Mutual online services can help you steer clear of slips, trips and falls. Policyholders can visit the safety resource center to get safety training materials and correct the root causes of accidents. Sign in to use the loss run and claim detail tool to identify accident trends.