The big question, then, is what steps employers can take to identify and address hazards on walking and working surfaces. It is important for employers to know their options to keep employees safe.
EHS Today has published a very helpful list of six ways to identify slip, trip, and fall hazards in the workplace. These can be boiled down to a few major categories.
Employers should consider the data available to them and seek to gather more. Incident reports, while a lagging factor, indicate areas which are more prone to accidents and therefore require greater attention. While OSHA’s 2016 final rule only requires regular and necessary inspections, a full audit, which will uncover more dangers to workplace safety, is worth the effort to conduct. Audits can be performed internally or by a specially trained agency.
With audits providing information on the nature of existing or potential problems, and incident reports highlighting areas of special concern, employers can make an effective plan specific to their situation.
Beyond that, employers are not the only ones invested in maintaining workplace safety. Encouraging employees to report areas of concern, even minor ones like a dripping soap dispenser or a slightly raised floor tile, will provide employers with an up-to-date idea of which safety concerns may exist in their facility without the cost of an audit.
Outside perspectives may also be beneficial. Floor care vendors may be able to provide updated cleaning supplies that reduce the risk of slips while cleaning, or correct dilution levels of cleaning materials. Insurance companies are no more eager to pay for injured workers than employers are, and may provide safety reviews at little to no cost to employers.
There are a host of ways for employers to identify and address conditions that lead to slip, trip, and fall injuries. They owe it to their employees to provide a safe working environment, and when they fail, workers suffer. If you have suffered from a workplace injury, contact us today to learn how we can help you.