In 2015, more than 238,000 workers across the country were injured in accidents involving a slip, trip, or fall, and the Ohio Department of Health names falls as the leading cause of non-fatal injuries in the state. While it is easy to dismiss a simple slip as a minor occurrence, these accidents can have real and serious consequences for injured workers and their families. In fact, fourteen workers were killed in a slip, trip, or fall accident in Ohio in 2015, and non-fatal falls result in debilitating injuries and millions of dollars in medical costs every year.
Why Are Falls, Trips, and Slips So Common in the Workplace?
Several factors contribute to the high number of trips, slips, and falls that workers experience on the job. While many situations are inherent in the job, others are easily avoided with a simple amount of care. The most common causes of these accidents include:
- Uneven surfaces
- Wet, icy or snowy surfaces
- Loose rugs or mats
- Poor lighting
- Obstructed views
- Cluttered surfaces
- Improper use or failure to use safety harness at height
- Trailing cables
Some Ohio Jobs Pose Higher Fall Risks to Employees
While those factors can contribute to a trip, slip, or fall at any job, there are certain fields in which Columbus employees are at a higher risk for this accident. These jobs include:
- Construction – Construction falls account for nearly one-third of all workers’ compensation fall claims in Ohio, making it the riskiest field for these injuries. The nature of the work—with tasks completed from heights, constant movement across a job site, and the wide range of materials used—all contribute to slip and fall dangers.
- Healthcare – Healthcare workers often find themselves in cramped spaces, trying to navigate their work with heavy or awkward loads and around spills or slick surfaces. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly half of all healthcare work-related injuries involve a slip, trip, or fall.
- Manufacturing – Manufacturing workers often find themselves in conditions with many of the common risk factors for falls and slips, including uneven surfaces, poor lighting, slick flooring, and more. Constant motion and loud job sites can contribute even more to these accidents.
Common Injuries From Slip and Fall Accidents at Work in Columbus
Slips, trips, and falls cause numerous injuries every year, many of which are serious and long lasting. While it easy to dismiss a slip as a minor incident, these accidents can cause physical pain and discomfort for weeks, months and even years. Some of the most common injuries include:
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Broken bones, including broken hips
- Torn tendons or ligaments
Many injuries require significant and invasive medical treatment. Sometimes, the injuries may never heal.
Take Care to Prevent Trips, Slips, and Fall Accidents
Workers in all fields should take care when to avoid slips, trips, and falls. These accidents are preventable, and following the proper safety precautions now can help workers and their families avoid unnecessary pain and stress. Some helpful tips from the National Safety Council are:
- Clean up spills right away, and stay away from freshly mopped floors.
- Wear shoes with good support and a solid, slip-resistant sole.
- Use handrails and safety harnesses when necessary.
- Wear a helmet, and wear it properly.
- Follow ladder safety rules and techniques.
- Maintain adequate lighting.
- Take time completing work tasks; don’t rush.
Despite your best efforts, things happen. If you or someone you love has suffered an injury in a slip or fall accident at work in Columbus, you may have compensation. Call the Upper Arlington legal team at Monast Law Office to discover how we may help you obtain the care and compensation you need to recover during this difficult time.