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A Costly Safety Lesson: Prevention

September 18, 2009

The expense of slip and fall accidents is unfathomable.  In an article by Carol Lehtola, William Becker and Charles Brown titled “Preventing Injuries from Slips, Trips and Falls” it is stated that the cost for one disabling injury now approaches $28,000 and indirect costs are a minimum of $46,000.  In event of death, the cost is estimated at around $940,000.  These costs do not even include the personal and family costs or trauma.

An analysis of Florida Worker Compensation records proved that slips and falls accounted for 25 percent of all serious disabling work injuries.  The article divides slips and falls into two main categories: Elevated falls and same-level falls.  Of the 25 percent of disabling work injuries, 17 percent were result of elevated falls and 8 percent were same-level falls.  In addition, 32 percent of all elevated falls in Florida agriculture were from ladders, while 25 percent were from vehicles and other mobile equipment.  Same-level falls, on walking or working surfaces make up 76 percent of the incidents.

The article goes in depth into the importance of slip resistant materials, warning signs to highlight dangerous areas, safety training and proper footwear.  Based off the statistics provided the only reasonable solution to injuries from falls is prevention.  Slip resistant coatings can be applied to any metal substrate such as stair treads, platforms, ladders, handrails and covers to incorporate safety.

In order to keep a business safe, compliance with safety standards is necessary.  Planning and design are critical to a safe environment.  Corrective measures for less than quality material is vital to maintaining a safe environment as well.

Carol J. Lehtola, William J. Becker, and Charles M. Brown.  “Preventing Injuries from Slips, Trips and Falls” NASD

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