Statistics from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration indicate that 15 percent of accidental deaths in the workplace actually occur because of falls, trips, and slips. Although this number seems small, this in fact makes slipping and falling the top cause of accidental deaths in the workplace, second to being involved in motor vehicle accidents. In fact, injuries from falls on the same level and to a lower level were the second and third leading causes of disabilities gained in the workplace as of 2011.
Slipping and Falling: How This Happens
In its most basic sense, anyone can slip almost anywhere. Slipping, and even tripping, can result in falls. Unfortunately, falling the wrong way can cause injuries that can disable individuals, or even kill them. When these happen in the workplace, they can be especially costly to everyone involved.
- Slips occur when surfaces get slippery due to oily or wet processes. These can include substances from debris and materials left along the walkway, leaks, and floor cleaning. If surfaces are uneven, they can also cause slips such as bunched floor mats, depression or holes, protruding nails and boards, and even uneven carpeting.
However, perhaps the most danger from slips, trips, and falls come not from the act itself but from the injuries they can cause. Some of them are the following:
- These can cause dislocation of body parts. When you fall from slips, there’s a possibility for a body part to be dislocated. The shoulder is particularly prone to such a possibility. Not only is a dislocation painful, but it will most likely require immediate medical attention to be treated properly. Some cases of dislocation will require patients to receive months of physical therapy to ensure they can fully use the affected joint again. In worse cases, patients need to undergo surgery in order to repair and stabilize the joint.
- These can cause sprains and broken bones. Twisting ankles, elbows, and knees are common when you fall from slipping. This is why these incidents normally cause torn ligaments that may take many months to heal. In worse cases, broken bones can come with these tears and sprains.
- These can cause injuries to the spine. When you fall from slips, sometimes these can cause complications to the spinal cord and the back. In worse cases, you may fracture a vertebra or even have a herniated or slipped disk. A mild injury to back itself can be debilitating, and worse falls can cause severe impacts on a person’s mobility.
- These can cause head injuries, and worse, brain injuries. These injuries can range from something mild like a concussion, and in some worse cases, they may even cause permanent cognitive damage. Unfortunately, these injuries can also cause seizures, impairment to motor skills, and chronic headaches.
- These can cause hip fractures. Unfortunately, hip fractures aren’t only expensive to treat, but can also severely debilitating. A lot of victims may require not just prolonged stays in the hospital and rehabilitation center, but even hip replacements. Elderly people, in particular, are vulnerable to such injuries.
Always remember that when it comes to slipping, tripping, and falling, it’s important to always be aware of one’s surroundings and always be on the lookout for your safety. It can be a good idea to be extra wary and alert of one’s surroundings in order to get a good assessment of what can go on within a particular environment, especially when you know a location is especially slippy or under maintenance. Do click here if you think you’re in need of further legal assistance.