Businesses in West Virginia and across the U.S. are underestimating slips, trips and fall risks in their facilities, according to a report. The miscalculation puts companies at risk for medical expenses, productivity losses and reputation damage.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, same-level slip and fall accidents are the top cause of workplace injuries in the U.S. There were close to 200,000 such incidents in 2015. Earlier this year, New Pig, a company that specializes in the cleanup of spills and leaks, conducted a survey of safety, health risk and maintenance professionals from several industries in order to analyze workplace slips and falls.
The survey found that 46 percent of those who participated in the survey seriously underestimated the number of risk zones in their facilities. It also discovered that the vast majority of risk zones are not addressed by businesses. Worse, many of the solutions companies employ to prevent slips and falls actually cause them to occur. For example, 92 percent of survey participants placed floor mats in front of doors, but 15 percent reported that wrinkled or shifted floor mats caused falls in their buildings. Meanwhile, 24 percent of participants reported falls in customer walkways, but only 31 percent tried to correct the problem by putting down floor mats.
Businesses are required to maintain a safe environment for their workers and customers. People who are injured in a slip and fall accident on a company's property may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent business owner. Injured victims can learn more about their rights by contacting a personal injury attorney.
Source: OH&S Online, "We're Underestimating Slip and Fall Risks: New Pig Survey", Aug. 24, 2017