Employers in North Carolina are responsible for the safety and health of employees. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration mandates safe work environments, regardless of industry type. One safety aspect employers and employees neglect in many North Carolina workplaces is housekeeping. Housekeeping hazards that do not receive the necessary consideration are linked to a significant percentage of work-related injuries.
Understanding housekeeping’s impact on employee safety is essential. Although many such hazards exist, the most frequently cited housekeeping-related accidents are slips, trips and falls, strains, sprains, and lacerations. Negligent housekeeping could cause life-changing injuries in the blink of an eye, and striking the head against a solid object or surface could cause traumatic brain injuries or death.
Slip, trip and fall dangers
Slips result from spills of oil, grease, water or any other type of moisture on floor surfaces or workspaces not cleaned promptly. Randomly placed objects, including extension cords snaking over walkways, cause trip hazards. While slips and trips cause falls, other fall hazards include workers standing on chairs, desks or other makeshift surfaces to access high out-of-reach areas. Elevation changes in work areas can also cause falls.
Strains and sprains
Slips, trips and falls could result in sprains and strains. Other frequent causes of this injury include lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling heavy objects without proper lifting techniques.
Lacerations can happen in any workplace, from construction sites to restaurant or hotel kitchens. Any sharp object can cause cuts, including knives, jagged metal, sharp tools and even working parts of machinery. Lacerations can be minor, needing no more than a Band-Aid, to life-changing injuries.
Victims of work-related accidents in North Carolina might be entitled to claim workers’ compensation benefits. Benefits typically cover medical expenses and lost wages. Workers whose injuries cause permanent partial or total disabilities might receive additional benefits.