It might surprise you, but you risk catastrophic injuries from falls even if you never work at elevated levels. Same-level falls are often known as slips, trips and falls because that is precisely what they are. Regardless of whether you spend your work hours in a Minnesota office, manufacturing plant or fulfillment center, a wet spot on the floor or a randomly placed object can cause you to fall.
The specific hazards of your workplace will determine the severity of your injuries. How you land, what you strike and the part of your body that connects are all factors in same-level falls.
Common causes of same-level falls
The following, with variations, are typical causes of slips, trips and falls:
- Wet surfaces can result from accidentally spilling coffee or other liquids and not cleaning it up immediately. Furthermore, there is an additional risk of snow in the winter in Minnesota that workers could carry into the work area on shoes.
- Outdoor workers face higher risks of slipping and falling in snow or ice.
- Oily walking surfaces could be a risk if you work in an auto repair shop, a restaurant or hotel kitchen.
- Damaged or cracked walking surfaces both inside and outside pose fall risks.
- Uneven terrain and elevation changes without warnings are dangerous.
- Randomly placed objects in work environments like offices, warehouses, stores and even construction sites pose trip hazards.
- Frayed rugs or floor mats, or unsecured floor coverings that can cause both slips and trips.
- Electric extensions or other cords crossing walkways could cause serious fall injuries.
- Impractical, improper or inadequate footwear is dangerous, especially when you encounter any already mentioned hazards.
Prevention of same-level falls
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, your employer is responsible for your health and safety in your workplace. Therefore, you could expect your employer to address same-level fall hazards in the company’s safety protocols and include it in safety training. However, a significant part of preventing falls depends on your alertness. This includes looking where you go, avoiding texting and walking, etc.
Report wet walkways, or grab a mop and clean them. Good housekeeping involves keeping work areas clean and tidy, and it can prevent most falls. You can also make sure your footwear is appropriate and clean when you enter your building from wet weather conditions. Proper lighting is crucial, and reporting areas where lights are inadequate or out is one way of mitigating fall hazards.
Never think slipping or tripping is funny
For some reason, many people find slips and falls laughable. However, a simple fall can cause life-changing or even fatal injuries. The severity depends on the unique circumstances of the fall. Imagine striking your head against a hard object and suffering traumatic brain injuries. Another scenario is falling in a manner that causes a spinal cord injury, leaving you paralyzed and wheelchair-bound.
Your rights to compensation
You might find comfort in knowing that Minnesota workers’ compensation insurance will cover your medical expenses and lost wages. However, when you suffer a serious workplace injury that jeopardizes your ability to return to work, the claims process could become complicated. For this reason, many injured workers choose to utilize the skills of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Minnesota to make sure they obtain maximum applicable benefits.