The occurrence of slips and trips in the workplace can be underestimated and seen only as minor events. However, workplace slips, trips and falls account for hundreds of deaths each year in the United States. The good news is that they can be prevented, and, in addition, the state of California has protections in place for those who have suffered a workplace injury like a fall.
The Department of Labor has estimated that slips and falls account for 15 percent of all accidental deaths per year. In addition, they create many serious injuries, and account for 95 million lost work days per year.
How can slips and falls be prevented in the workplace?
Usually, trips, slips and falls can be prevented by safe working practices. They often occur when there is a hazard in place, such as wet and greasy floors, misplaced items like loose cables, or uneven surfaces. Accidents can also be created by the lack of adequate lighting. This could mean that a person is not able to see a sudden drop or a stairwell, for example, and this can potentially lead to serious injuries. It is the employer's responsibility to put in place manageable procedures that prevent unsafe environments such as these.
What should I do if I suffer from a trip, slip or fall in the workplace?
If you become injured at work because of a slip, trip or fall in California and require medical treatment as a result, it is important that you notify your employer, and then exercise your right to file a workers' compensation claim. In California, you will be entitled to coverage of medical bills, as well as a contribution toward the wages that you lose during your recovery process. This will be applicable if it can be proven that the injury took place at work or while you were participating in work-related activities.
What can I do if my employer says that I am not entitled to workers' compensation?
If your employer denies you workers' compensation, it is important to question why, and consider taking action in order to assert your rights.