The bad news: slips, trips, and falls are one of the nation’s leading causes of workplace injuries. The good news: working with safety professionals can help prevent these accidents – and keep your Workers Compensation costs under control.
Falls on the same level (in which workers slip and fall on the surface on which they’re standing) cost Workers Comp insurance companies a hefty $8.61 billion in 2010, accounting for 16.9% of their total claims. That’s the word from Wayne Maynard, Manager of Technical Services and Product Development for the Loss Control Advisory Services unit of Liberty Mutual, the largest Comp carrier in the nation.
According to the Liberty Mutual 2012 Workplace Safety Index, “bodily reaction” injuries – which includes those caused by slipping or tripping without falling – represented $5.78 billion of Comp costs in 2010, or 11.4% of the overall burden,. Falls to a lower level in that year accounted for another $5.12 billion, or 10% of claims.
These costs are rising, due in part to an aging workforce (older worker tend to have more balance problems). Falls on the same level increased 42.3% from 1998 to 2010, while bodily reaction injuries increased 17.6% during this period.
You can help reduce the frequency of slips, trips, and falls by taking such ergonomic enhancements in the workplace as 1) adding slip-resistant flooring; 2) eliminating raised surfaces that might cause tripping; and 3) installing handrails on stairs. Also make sure that your employees take immediate steps to clean up spills that could create slippery floors.
Tracy Driscoll’s professionals would be happy to provide a complimentary “slip, trip, and fall” safety review of your premises – just give us a call at 860.589.3434.