Slip and fall accidents can be damaging to a business. It is estimated that over 70 billion dollars have been spent annually as compensation and medical costs for the victims. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 22% of slip and fall accidents result in at least 31 days of work missed by employees. With these undeniably alarming numbers, it is easy to see how slip and fall accidents can be a serious issue for businesses of almost any vertical. Specific risks may vary, but examples include a decline in production, lost workplace efficiency, increased insurance costs, litigation costs (should the accident be caused by employer negligence), lost time, and most importantly, bodily harm to employees.
To help businesses avoid these costly incidents, the Eagle Mat Blog has assembled the following list of top accident statistics. In reviewing the list below, business owners, managers, and property owners may better prepare themselves for the most common types of workplace accidents.
Top 10 Slip and Fall Accident Statistics
According to the National Floor Safety Institute, these are ten slip and fall statistics that could be detrimental to a business:
1. Fractures are the most serious consequences of falls. About 5% of all people who fall fracture their bone as a result.
2. Dirty floors and improperly maintained or installed flooring materials contribute directly to more than 2 million fall injuries each year (Consumer Product Safety Commission [CPSC]),
3. The elderly are more likely to be in a slip and fall accidents in the workplace. The probability of injury and accident exponentially increases as weight and Body Mass Index goes up.
4. 22% of slip/fall incidents resulted in more than 31 days away from work (US Bureau of Labor Statistics [2002)]).
5. Compensation & medical costs associated with employee slip/fall accidents is approximately $70 billion annually (National Safety Council Injury Facts 2003 edition).
6. According to the American Trucking Association, slips and falls are the leading cause of compensable injury in the trucking industry.
7. Occupational injuries with temporary or permanent disabling effects caused falls on the same level can cost approximately $250,000-$300,000 per year.
8. According to Workers Compensation statistics from ITT-Hartford Insurance Company, falls account for 16% of all claims and 26% of all costs. This compares to 33% of costs associated with sprains and strains.
9. Approximately 60% of compensable fall cases are falls on the same level. (W. Monroe Keyserling, Ph.D. 2000)
10. Employees slipping on slick floors account for 85% of workers compensation claims. (Industrial Safety & Occupational Health Markets 5th edition)
Take Preventative Measures
Employers should utilize the information above to create a safety plan in all aspects of the workplace to minimize these accidents from occurring. While there is no guarantee that slip and falls are completely avoidable, businesses can still promote safety and sanitation in the workplace to reduce potential injuries and decrease the risk of these accidents.
Looking above, one of the causes of slip and fall accidents is the improper maintenance of floor products or the absence of them altogether. At the very least, businesses may implement entrance mats at all entry ways to minimize soil from entering the facilities. Floor mats, when properly used, trap dirt and moisture, maintaining the cleanliness of the floor. Floor mats should be placed in areas where there are heavy foot traffic, as well as locations where employees are required to stand for longer periods of time.
One of the interesting statistic above is that slip and fall accidents are the number one compensable injury for trucking companies, as opposed to accidents on the road. In order to reduce the number of trucking employees who experience slip and fall accidents, it would be wise to include anti-slip mats in loading areas to protect people from falling. Such solutions, like Anti-Slip Grit Tape, will provide the necessary grip so that accidents would be prevented more consistently. In indoor areas, ergonomic slip resistant mats may be used to reduce the employee fatigue, which could also be another reason behind the high number of slip and fall accidents in trucking companies. It is better to be safe than lose manpower and efficiency in the workplace.
Resources for this report include:
(i) Bakken, Gary M., Cohen, H. Harvey, Abele, Jon R., Hyde, Alvin S., LaRue, Cindy A. Slips, Trips, Missteps and Their Consequences. Tucson, AZ: Lawyers and Judges Publishing Company, Inc., 2nd ed. 2002
(ii) Fraley, Michael. Be Proactive In Slip and Fall Prevention. Cleaning & Maintenance Management. September 19, 2010. http://cmmonline.com/articles/be-proactive-in-slip-and-prevention/. Accessed December 13, 2012
(iii) Garner, Bryan A. Black’s Law Dictionary. St. Paul, MN: Thomson/ West, 8th ed. 2004.
National Floor Safety Institute. Same-Level Slip-and-Fall Statistics. http://www.nfsi.org/the_costs.php