Slips and falls are the most common causes of injury to workers, accounting for 35% of the workers' compensation claims handled by Baldwin & Lyons. Read the case study below for tips on how to prevent these frequent injuries.

The Facts

A 33-year-old driver was making a delivery. On his way back to the truck, he slipped on a water spot and twisted his left ankle and chipped the bone. He was diagnosed with a high grade ankle sprain and peroneal tendon strain. The driver was off work for about two months and returned with no restrictions after undergoing physical therapy.
 

The Cost

The total cost of the claim was $19,589. The total time lost from the injury was two months.
 

The Solution

Slips and falls may seem like minor incidents but they can escalate into very serious injuries that can keep your drivers off the road and cost your company a significant amount of money. While slips and falls are typically associated with winter conditions, such as ice and snow, they can happen during any time of the year, in any weather condition. Even a small spot of water on smooth concrete is as slippery as walking on ice.

When your drivers are away from your facility, you cannot control their environment. Use the following safety practices as guidance for what your drivers should look for while at other locations.

Examine your dress code policy and consider requiring your workers to wear proper work shoes with slip-resistant soles. During a four-month trial conducted by Baldwin & Lyons’ Loss Prevention Department, drivers wearing SR Max slip resistant shoes reduced their slip and fall injuries by 70 percent. Find out how your drivers can receive a discount on these shoes by emailingthequill@baldwinandlyons.com.

Help your workers avoid slips and falls by:

  • Requiring workers to wear appropriate slip-resistant shoes. Periodically check the condition of the soles and replace them as they wear down. Worn soles lose their slip-resistant quality.
  • Advising workers to never run or walk fast. The footing slip coefficient of friction is reduced at a hurried pace.
  • Keeping all walking areas clean and clear of clutter.
  • Maintaining good lighting both indoors and on outdoor walking areas.
  • Securing electrical and phone cords out of traffic areas.
  • Installing handrails on all stairways.
  • Using a sturdy stepstool when climbing or reaching for high places.
  • Cleaning up spills right away.
  • Periodically checking the condition of outdoor walkways and steps, repairing as necessary.
  • Removing leaves or snow from outdoor walkways.
  • Training workers on proper lifting and carrying techniques, including inspecting the walking surfaces before walking on them. It’s always important to look for obstructions along the way that may interfere with walking safely.
  • Emphasizing the requirement to always use three points of contact when entering and exiting a vehicle.

For more case studies on how to prevent common injuries, read the full feature in the Summer 2013 issue of The Quill. Visit The Quill archive >>

  • Categorized in:
  • Injury Prevention
  • Workplace Safety
  • Transportation Safety
  • Slips & Falls
  • Dock & Warehouse Safety
  • Claims