Slips and falls may not seem serious to some people in the workforce, but the truth is they can be very dangerous for individuals and costly for businesses. Rather than resulting in bumps and bruises, falling sometimes due to a lack of proper work shoes can result in hospital visits and missed days of work.
If you’re an employee, manager or owner at a hotel, restaurant, hospital or one of the many other industries where these painful and costly tumbles occur each day, it’s important to acquaint yourself with the statistics behind this widespread problem.
An epidemic of accidents
Falls are the reason for 21 percent of all emergency room visits in the U.S. These tumbles translate to almost 9 million patients being seen each year in the ER because of fall-related injuries. With such a high percentage of ER visits relating to falling, it’s the No. 1 cause of accidental injury in the country. Falling, tripping and slipping are also the second most common reason for accidental death, following just behind car crashes.
Falls aren’t just a significant problem at peoples home’s in the U.S. It’s an issue that’s particularly damaging to people at work, with 35 percent of all workplace accidents coming from falls.
Workforce hurt by falls too
Whether a fall occurs at work or not, there’s a good chance that it can hurt your ability to perform your job optimally. Between 20 and 30 percent of fall victims are injured in ways that can hurt their ability to move independently.
Injuries related to falls account for 85 percent of all workers’ compensation claims and can translate to an average cost of more than $20,000 per slip. Employers and insurance companies pay out more than $70 billion a year for workers’ compensation and medical expenses because of slips and falls.
In addition to the raw costs that falling can bring to a company, it also accounts for a significant amount of missed work. People who get injured from a fall or slip miss an average of 38 days. On a national scale, falls account for 95 million missed days of work a year.
Nipping the problem in the bud
One of the worst parts about the severity of these slip and fall injuries and the resulting costs is that they’re often preventable. There are a number of efforts that employees and supervisors can take to limit the likelihood of injury. These include cleaning up spills promptly, keeping walkways clear of debris, wires and cords, and avoiding loose rugs. Slip-resistant shoes are also critical in reducing the dangers that floors, walkways and surfaces present at work.
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