Slip and fall accidents are a leading cause of worker injuries in the United States. These accidents can result in serious and debilitating injuries, including broken bones, sprains, lacerations and head injuries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls, slips and trips resulted in 78 workplace deaths in 2021. Our experienced personal injury lawyer in Pittsburgh shares that most slip and fall injuries at work are entirely preventable.
Maintain a Safe Premises
Our experienced Pittsburgh premises liability attorney has seen fall accidents cases at work often involving unsafe premises. It is an employer’s responsibility to ensure a reasonably safe environment for workers. This includes inspecting a property for potential slip and fall risks, warning workers of potential (nonobvious) hazards, and promptly repairing any discovered defects. Common issues that contribute to workplace slip and falls include:
- Poor property maintenance
- Uneven floor surfaces
- Cracked or broken sidewalks
- Broken stairs or missing railings
- Leaky pipes and wet floors
- Greasy or waxy surfaces
- Loose rocks or gravel
- Inadequate lighting
Certain industries in Pennsylvania expose workers to more severe fall injury risk. Construction accident lawyers in Pittsburgh know the dangers of the construction industry, where a worker could fall from a great height, such as a beam or scaffolding. This can cause catastrophic or fatal worker injuries, including spinal cord injuries. Employers in every industry have a duty to prevent, identify and remedy potential slip and fall injury hazards.
Workplaces can be made unreasonably dangerous with an excessive amount of clutter or debris. All walking surfaces in a workplace should be free and clear of unexpected objects to diminish the risk of employees tripping and falling. Common examples of accident risks include boxes, loose rugs, exposed cords, and office supplies or equipment.
Wear the Right Shoes
If the nature of a job creates specific work conditions that increase the risk of a slip and fall accident taking place – such as the food or hospitality industry – employers should require workers to wear the correct footwear. This generally means closed-toed nonslip shoes that are sturdy, fit correctly and offer proper traction on slippery surfaces.
Post Warning Signs of Known Risks
Any known or discovered slip and fall accident risks should be immediately marked in a conspicuous way. A warning or caution sign should be posted in an obvious location until the hazard can be repaired. If a pipe has burst and left the floors in a workplace wet, for example, caution signs should be set up until the water can be mopped up to prevent slip and fall accidents.
Report Hazards and Safety Violations
If an employer fails to keep workers safe and maintain a secure workplace, workers should report safety violations to the correct authorities. This may start with notifying a supervisor or manager, but if the safety hazard goes ignored, an employee can go to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to request an official workplace inspection.
Employers often have the power to prevent slip and fall injuries in the workplace. If they are negligent and this causes a serious worker injury in a slip and fall accident, the victim has the right to pursue workers’ compensation or file a work injury lawsuit. Contact the Pittsburgh slip and fall attorneys at Dallas W. Hartman, P.C. to discuss your work accident case during a free consultation.