North Carolina workers face a wide range of potential risks and hazards when they clock in at work. However, employers often overlook one of the most common types of workplace accidents that can be found across virtually all industries. Slip and fall accidents cause serious harm to victims and dropping temperatures may even mean an increased risk for injuries.
Wet, slippery and icy surfaces
Lower temperatures create increased opportunities for wet surfaces to become icy and more slippery. This commonly happens on sidewalks, outdoor walkways and corridors that are not heated or shielded from the elements. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, employers should make addressing these potential areas of concern a top priority for all employers because every year:
- More than one million people suffer slip and fall injuries
- Slip and fall injuries account for 15 of all work-related injuries
- Approximately 17,000 people die because of slip and fall accidents
The different types of falls
The CDC recognizes two different categories of falls, which are same level and elevated. Same level falls are more common and take place when the victim falls on the same surface he or she is walking on, such as a sidewalk or carpeted floor. Elevated falls are less common but cause more serious injuries, and they involve falls from heights such as roofs or scaffolds. Around 60% of elevated falls occur from a height of 10 feet or less.
Regardless of industry or job position, all workers in North Carolina deserve to feel safe in the workplace. Icy surfaces, poor lighting and uneven flooring are just a few issues that can drastically increase the risk of slip and fall injuries. When a worker suffers a serious injury in a fall at work, he or she may need to pursue workers’ compensation benefits to help address medical bills and lost wages related to the injury.