Workers’ Compensation: Slips, Trips, & Falls
Workers’ compensation claims pose a huge risk for hospital employers, but THIE wants to help manage those risks, providing a safe and efficient workplace for all employees. Annual reporting shows that as of Q2 of 2021, there have been 50 workers’ compensation claims from the housekeeping and maintenance departments in the hospital setting. Slips, trips, and falls have accounted for 15 total claims in 2021 alone. These types of accidents are the second most common in healthcare facilities not far behind overexertion. The CDC reminds employers that injuries like these result in “lost workdays, reduced productivity, expensive worker compensation claims, and diminished ability to care for patients.”
In order to reduce the number of workers’ compensation claims due to slips, trips, and falls, healthcare facilities have the opportunity to implement successful prevention programs. These types of programs have decreased the claim rate by 59% since 1999.
How to Protect Your Staff:
- Maintaining clean floor surfaces to avoid fluid-related spills and promptly fixing buckled carpet or lifted tile, help to prevent trips through high trafficked areas.
- Results from Q1 show that most slips, trips, and falls occur on the outside of the building in places such as parking lots or sidewalks. By attending to the grounds and being observant of large cracks in the sidewalk or holes in the grass, employers may be able to reduce these numbers.
- Depending on where a facility is located, there may be unique weather concerns such as ice or snow that contribute to these rising claims. The use of weather monitors, emails alerting to changing conditions, and removal of ice from walkable surfaces, are important implementations to keep all staff and patients out of harm’s way.
- Areas inside and outside of facilities should be well-lit to avoid vision impairment. Unobvious steps or drops should be well-labeled with visual cues and should have handrails at the appropriate height.
- Another simple, yet effective way to avoid accidents is by enforcing proper dress code standards such as close-toed shoes with a back.
THIE cares about its subscribers, and we know our subscribers care about their staff. Not only could these simple and cost-effective tips save money, but they could potentially save lives.
Tips provided by the CDC
Slip, Trip, and Fall Prevention. NIOSH, Dec. 2010, https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2011-123/pdfs/2011-123.pdf.