5 Ways to Prevent Slip and Fall Accidents in the Workplace
As a small business owner, you’ve got a lot on your plate. There never seem to be enough resources to execute all of your plans, and with the economy stuck in a recession you’ve constantly got to figure out ways to do less than more. There’s the battle to keep the best and the brightest employees from being recruited away by major corporations that can offer better pay and larger benefits packages, and to maintain focus and motivation within your current workforce. You’ve got major competition in every industry, and a tough road to brand recognition in a crowded media landscape. On top of all of this, you’ve got to generate enough revenue to keep your office going. All of that can fly out the window in a hurry if someone slips and falls at your facility. Whether from intentional negligence or just plain bad luck, a lawsuit could follow that will pull the majority of your attention away from what’s important, while crippling your finances and causing all sorts of bad press. Here are five ways you can prevent slip and fall accidents in the workplace, and hopefully avoid these fates.
First of all, keep an eye on all of your external walkways. Any sidewalks that aren’t maintained by the local government are 100% your responsibility. That means you have to be aware of weather issues that cause dangerous walking environments. Stay on top of any snow and ice buildup, and consider how rain impacts the material as well. You’ll also need to regularly handle degradation in the walkways, repairing cracks and uneven surfaces as quickly as you can.
The building’s parking lot will also be your responsibility. The winter and early spring are the most dangerous times, when even a slight amount of snow can make things incredibly slippery. Rain can be trouble as well, as it mixes with the random deposits of oil and motor vehicle fluids left behind to cause slick conditions. Make sure your facility uses sand and salt whenever necessary, and that any speed bumps or raised walkways are painted in a bright color.
Keep an eye on any ramps as well. Every building needs to be accessible to those with handicaps, but make sure your ramps are properly designed. Check into the rules to make sure it slopes to the appropriate degree, where someone in a wheelchair can easily navigate it but people walking will still be able to notice they are on an incline. And definitely design all ramps with surrounding handrails.
You’ll obviously be held responsible for the flooring inside your office as well. Consider carpeting large areas, which will drastically reduce the chance of falling accidents. Place mats at all of the entryways, so people can wipe their wet feet off. Think carefully about the tile or linoleum flooring you use. Marble is beautiful, but it also gets slick in a hurry. Mop up any spills right away, and don’t forget to remind your janitorial staff to put out those warning signs if they can’t get to an area immediately.
Finally, consider the safety necessities of your workplace. This is especially crucial if you run a manufacturing plant or a large warehouse. The Villages lawyer handled a major liability case in Florida surrounding these issues. If your employees work in an environment with significant moisture in the air, make sure they wear work boots with a solid tread on the bottom. Set strict cleaning and organizations policies, and make sure they are posted on signs visible to all who come on the property. You might also want to suggest length limits on pants and dresses, and even avoid loose materials that can get caught under shoes or in equipment entirely.