Slip and fall risks may be greater than is assumed

West Virginia companies may be seriously underestimating the risk of slip and fall injuries at their locations, a study indicates. The author of the study notes that many employers are exposed to significant liability risks and costs due to underestimating the risks of floor safety and failing to address high-risk zones.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that slip and fall accidents are the top cause of injuries on the job in the United States. In 2015, there were nearly 200,000 of these types of incidents, leading to billions in workers' compensation and medical expenses.

While many managers and maintenance professionals underestimate the number of risk zones that can be present in their workplaces, they can also use ineffective solutions for identified risks. There were more than 10 different locations identified as common fall areas across workplaces, but most spaces address only entry areas with floor mats. However, the floor mats themselves can be a danger, as 15 percent of responding organizations noted that slippery, shifting, old and bunched-up floor mats are a significant cause of falls.

Slip and fall accidents aren't dangerous only to workers, of course. Approximately one in four respondents experienced these incidents taking place in customer areas open to the general public. The researchers emphasized the importance of safety planning to protect both workers and customers throughout an area in order to cut down on these dangerous and costly incidents.

People who have been injured on a commercial property due to wet floors or other dangerous hazards may want to speak with an attorney. In general, property owners are responsible for correcting hazardous conditions, and a failure to do so can lead to them being financially responsible for an injured victim's losses.

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