Slips and falls result in more than 1 million emergency room visits a year according to the National Floor Safety Institute. In fact, they are the main reason people have days off work. They are also the leading reason for workers’ compensation claims.
Did you have a slip and fall accident at work? Check out this guide to learn what to do if you slip and fall at work.
There are many causes of workplace injuries. Slip and fall injuries are some of the most common. They are also some of the most devastating for anybody who is injured.
If you have a slip and fall you may suffer a slight injury. A few bruises and hurt pride can be all that happens. For anybody with a more serious fall, the injuries can be much more severe.
Broken bones or fractures are common. Worse still are head injuries. These more serious injuries can have consequences far beyond the initial discomfort.
What are the possible consequences of a slip and fall at work? You may not be able to return to work immediately. In some serious cases, you may not be able to do the job you did before the accident ever again.
The financial implications of not working in either the short term or long term can be that your income is affected. Also, you may have medical or care bills as a result of the injury. Rehabilitation following a slip and fall injury could take some time even if you make a full recovery.
An important point to remember if you do have a slip and fall accident is that injuries can be difficult to identify immediately. They are easy to miss and may emerge later. Aches and pains may seem trivial the begin with but these can mask more long term and serious injuries.
Slip and fall accidents can occur as a result of many circumstances. Slippery floors, whether polished, badly maintained, or wet after cleaning can all give rise to accidents.
Slips and falls can happen because of poor cleaning and control of waste. Piles of paper and card can be a slip hazard. Poor storage standards can lead to stacks of boxes or supplies in walkways causing a slip or trip hazard.
Poor lighting can make it difficult to see hazards that might cause a slip. Poorly fitting carpet, damaged flooring, and uneven surfaces can all cause falls.
Inadequate instructions or poor training can also be to blame for slips and falls. Failure to post warnings and to advise of hazards can also be a cause of accidents.
If you’ve had an accident at work, knowing what to do can make it much more likely that you can build the best legal case and receive the right compensation. If you research what you should do after the accident you may also be able to make a case for compensation. Being forewarned with the right knowledge is likely to make your case stronger.
Here is a guide to your action plan following a slip and fall accident.
Your health and the health of anybody else involved in an accident must be the number one priority. If you have been hurt, it’s vital to get the right treatment. A medical professional like a doctor is best placed to identify if your injuries need treatment.
Take the advice of a medical professional. If they say you need medical care then you should head their advice. In any event, see a doctor and make sure any injuries are thoroughly checked and documented.
The documentation created at this stage could be vital in making a claim for compensation. Make sure you have any medical observations and treatment documented by the medical professional. Ensure you get access to these records.
A report of the accident should be made in your place of work. This should be done by a responsible person such as a manager. If you are able, make a report yourself rather than rely on others to do it for you.
Ask the manager to make a report, in writing. Ask them for a copy of the report and keep it safe.
Don’t rely on a report written by your workplace manager. If there is a justifiable claim, it may not be in your employer’s interest to provide all the evidence you need.
Your employer may be trustworthy and ethical in most circumstances. In the event of a claim against them, they may have to act under instructions from others including an uncooperative insurance company.
Collect evidence about the accident. Get the names and details of any possible witnesses. Addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses are difficult to get later so get them immediately.
Ask witnesses to write statements about what happened and ask them to sign them. Get possession of the statements immediately rather than ask people to let you have them later.
Take photographs of the location of the accident. Make sure the pictures include any relevant details such as ice, surfaces, stairs, and other objects that may have been hazardous.
Make your own notes of the circumstances of the accident. Note what happened, the direction you fell, and how you landed. Note the time and date of the accident.
Other than to report the accident don’t make any other statements to your manager or work colleagues. Don’t attribute blame or accept blame.
Do not discuss the accident with others except a medical professional in order to get the necessary treatment. Do not post any comments about the accident on social media.
If you are contacted by an insurance company, decline to provide a statement until you have taken legal advice.
Because slip and fall accidents can result in serious injury and other consequences it’s wise to take legal advice. Personal injury lawyers have the experience and resources to get you the compensation you deserve.
Your first priority is your health and safety and the health and safety of your work associates. Help to avoid slip and fall accidents whenever you can. If an accident does happen to you, take legal advice to make sure your rights are protected.
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