Preventing Falls in the Workplace
One of the leading causes of injuries is falls, and they are responsible for many deaths and disabilities each year as well. Experts say that about 30 percent of adults who are 65 years of age or older will fall. About 90 percent of people who fracture their hips do so because of a fall. Experts estimate that about 20 percent of people who fracture their hips after a fall will die within one year of falling.
Employers should realize that older workers are more likely to miss more days of work and have more medical expenses. Research shows that nearly 15 percent of falls happen on the job. Whether a fall is a worker tumbling off of a roof or just missing a step when descending a few stairs to a patio, the incident can cost an employer $1 million in some cases. Experts say that while falls are an unfortunate risk in the workplace, employers should take steps to show how much they care about preventing falls and keeping their workers safe. Since falls can be preventable at home and in the workplace, these tips are recommended for helping workers stay safe:
• Require workers to wear slip-resistant footwear, which may reduce accidents by as much as 50 percent.
• Make sure there are absorbent rugs in every entry way, but the rugs should not be easy to trip on.
•Be sure that all floors are kept clean and dry. When it rains or snows, cleaning staff should check the floors more often.
•Remove all clutter from walkways, halls and common areas.
•Ensure there are sturdy handrails in all stairwells of the workplace.
•Always place signs on wet floors to alert workers of their condition.
•Keep the workplace's walkways well lit during working hours, and check the bulbs in all light sources frequently to replace faulty ones.
•When cabinets and drawers are not in use, make sure they remain closed.
•Keep the flooring in good condition at all times. Replace old tiles or warped carpeting as needed.
It is important for workers to be careful at home as well. Many people fall at home, and this is just as devastating for older workers as workplace falls are. Experts recommend employers share the following tips with their workers to help them stay safe at home:
•Practice yoga, Pilates or another form of exercise to improve balance and core strength.
• Instead of walking around the home barefoot, wear slippers or shoes with good support that fit well.
• Have a vision and hearing test done annually, because changes in hearing or vision often contribute to falls.
• Remove any rugs or stair runners that could become hazardous.
• Read all medication bottles and warnings carefully. Some medications interact with one another and cause dizziness or sleepiness.
Employers should assign one person or a small team of people in the workplace to be in charge of checking for fall risks. They should ensure all proper precautions are taken, note any new hazards and work with the employer to develop a solid workplace safety plan. To learn more, discuss concerns with us.
If you have questions or concerns on this issue, do not hesitate to call Zeiler Insurance and speak to one of our customer service representatives. As an independent agency, Zeiler Insurance prides itself with quality customer services for the people of the Chicago-land area and the rest of the Midwest. Customer or not, we can review your insurance and see if you are being protected appropriately for the right price.
(708) 597-5900 X134