The Edge - Q3 2010 - (Page 11)
SAFETY | by Jason Oswald
Slip, Trip and Fall
IT MIGHT BE a visitor. It might be a customer. It might be your own employee. But chances are, you won’t be there to see it should someone slip-and-fall in a building you maintain or on a construction jobsite. Overall, slips, trips and falls are a major accident type in most industries, including the pool and spa industry. Overall, these types of claims account for 10 percent to 30 percent of injuries to employees and the general public and have an average cost ranging from $2,500 to $12,000. According to the National Safety Council, slips, trips and falls are the second leading cause of accidental deaths. The pool and spa industry is especially vulnerable to injuries from slips, trips and falls because of the terrain on which contractors work and the placement of the materials being handled. Falls are frequently the result of both unsafe conditions and unsafe acts. Personal factors such as age, illness, emotional state, fatigue, inattention and poor vision also contribute to falls. Whether you are maintaining a constrution site or operate a retail store where the general public also becomes a concern, these tips are a good general guideline for how to prevent injuries, and what to do if they occur.
GOOD HOUSEKEEPING RULES
We’ve all seen jobs, and probably worked on some, where it wasn’t safe to put your foot down without first looking twice to be sure you weren’t going to twist an ankle. A job like that may be poorly run and managed, losing money and causing accidents. Good housekeeping on jobsites can help prevent some of these accidents. In general there are controls that can be implemented for various contributing factors: • For walking surfaces – Ensure that proper materials are used for the conditions and that walkways are cleared of potential hazards and obstructions. • For weather – Properly remove snow, ice, water, mud or other unsafe conditions, maintain weather matting, post hazard cones or warnings to identify unsafe conditions. • For premises/jobsites – Self inspect the premises to identify potential hazards, promptly make changes or repairs, schedule routine cleaning and implement clean-up procedures for potential hazards. • For people – Consider the characteristics and needs of the diverse or unique population when planning for safety as it is related to premises, walking areas, weather, structure and activities. Every company is unique and the list of controls will vary. To make certain that the proper controls are in place for your operations, engage your insurance company’s risk control professionals.
SOUND PLANNING CAN HELP
Even with good housekeeping protocols accidents can still happen. If a loss were to occur, a well thought out plan ensures that injured persons will be treated promptly and puts you in control of the process. CNA has developed these guidelines to help you efficiently manage slip-and-fall accidents. When a slipand-fall happens: Immediately After the Accident Occurs Offer medical attention: • Administer first aid at the scene. • Call for emergency service, if needed. • Suggest a medical provider for follow-up care. (For employee injuries, refer or suggest a medical provider if doing so is allowed by your state.) Gather and document information: • Name, address, phone number of injured person. • Names, addresses, phone numbers of witnesses. • Injured person’s description of what happened. • Pictures of accident (floor, spill, etc.). Report the accident: • Ask your customers to notify you immediately of any slipand-falls on floor surfaces you maintain. • Notify your insurance carrier of all losses, even if the information you have is incomplete. Within 24 Hours After the Accident Occurs Contact the injured person (or parent of minor): • Communicate your concern and verify whether treatment was received. • In all cases, avoid discussion of “blame.” Assure the injured person that the accident will be investigated. • Be alert for claimant’s “expectations.” Communicate them to your insurance carrier. • Make sure injured employees understand that a claim will be processed for workers’ compensation benefits with regard to medical bills and time off from work (if applicable).
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Edge - Q3 2010
The Edge - Q3 2010
Wise HR Practices Reduce Risk of Employee Lawsuits
Slip, Trip and Fall Accident Control
Preventive Measures Are Best Defense for Floating Liners
Understanding Social Media
Index of Advertisers/Advertiser Websites
The Edge - Q3 2010