Slips, trips, and falls are responsible for the majority of general industry accidents. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) warns that these incidents are responsible for up to 15% of accidental deaths—second only to deaths due to motor vehicle collisions. Slips and falls are also some of the most frequently reported injuries, contributing about a quarter of reported claims every year.
Importantly, most of these injuries could have been prevented.
Overall Cost Statistics
Slips, trips, and falls in the workplace can result in substantial costs for both the worker involved and the employer. The Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index states that the total monetary burden of workplace injuries and illnesses was almost $60 billion in 2014. Slips and falls accounted for about one-fifth of these costs, roughly $11 billion. It is critical that employers understand the extent and variation of these costs so that they can embrace the importance of taking proper preventative action.
Below is a simple but thorough breakdown of the ways that slips and falls in your workplace can drastically increase annual costs.
Perhaps one of the most frightening costs to the employer is the lawsuit itself. Customers and employees alike may sue you if they experienced a slip and fall in your establishment. BIC Magazine reports that the average cost for this kind of injury itself is $20,000, while the cost to defend a slip and fall claim is about $50,000. If your company is found responsible for the injury in court, you may be expected to compensate the injured party for their past and future medical bills, lost wages, mental anguish, and pain. Quick math demonstrates that these costs add up quickly (possibly to hundreds of thousands—or even millions—of dollars) and can be a nightmare for your business.
Beyond a Lawsuit
If the individual injured is one of your employees, the considerations extend even further. For example, you may not only be responsible for compensating your employee’s lost wages, but you may also suffer from a decrease in productivity. In some cases, there may be costs associated with hiring and training a replacement employee. You may also be looking at increased insurance premiums.
Preventing Slips, Falls, Lawsuits, and Costs
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to take action against the possibility of slip and fall injuries within your institution.
- Maintain proper signage warning around wet areas
- Promptly repair leaks which may form wet spots on the floor
- Encourage your employees to wear appropriate footwear
- Promoting employee training and awareness of fall prevention
- Utilizing solutions such as anti-slip products to increase traction
Remember, these injuries and costs are entirely preventable with planning and care! Don’t fall victim to apathy, carelessness, and the costs that result.