Michael Burgis & Associates, P.C.

Workplace injuries: Slips and trips mostly caused by human error

Occupational slips, trips and falls remain at concerning levels. Based upon an analysis of a survey and the responses of approximately 1,300 workplace safety authorities in California and other states, it was determined that more than half the slip-and-trip incidents in workplaces could be due to human factors. Despite awareness programs and concerted efforts to reduce the number of workplace injuries caused by this type of accident, slips and trips continue to form a significant percentage of overall occupational injuries.

Data gathered from the responses indicated that housekeeping issues caused 16 percent of slips and trips while 25 percent results from wet and slippery surfaces. In contrast, 54 percent of these incidents involved human factors. Typical solutions for prevention of fall injuries caused by slips and trips include non-slip mats and efficient housekeeping.

However, analysts suggest increased focus on both mental and physical causes of such incidents. Issues that might be overlooked include complacency, fatigue and inattentional blindness. For that reason, safety habits must be strengthened through extensive training in human errors and the potential consequences they have. Safety authorities suggest a more balanced approach to safety training.

While these measures might improve the safety cultures in some companies, other employers might fail to take an additional interest in safety training. Victims of workplace injuries remain eligible for insurance benefits through the California workers' compensation program. The claims process is often complicated, and the support and guidance of an experienced workers' comp attorney can simplify it. A successful benefits claim will provide compensation for medical expenses and a financial package to make up a percentage of lost wages.

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