Last week I was in a coworker’s office. We were discussing a document and I moved forward to look at the computer screen. I noticed an open file drawer and stepped around it. However, after looking at the document I forgot all about the open drawer. I turned around and walked right into the drawer. I tripped and fell. A week later, I still have the evidence of the accident on my shin.
Slip and fall injury at work
Did you know that trip and falls are one of the most common workplace injuries? According to studies conducted by the CDC, they indeed happen all too often. I’m lucky that my injury was just a bruise and scrape on the shin. The Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) says slips, trips and falls account for 25% of reported injuries. They often cause severe injuries needing extensive treatment and they also cause workers to miss a lot of time from work. Interestingly, injuries often include sprains and strains, fractures, and cuts and bruises. Slip and fall injuries can also involve necks, backs, shoulders, arms, elbows, hips, knees, ankles, feet, and legs. In fact, L&I says slips, trips and falls cause about 15% of accidental deaths.
L&I safety regulations and training
L&I has safety training modules aimed at reducing slip, trip and fall injuries in the workplace. These can be found on the L&I website (see L&I training link 1 and training link 2). My own trip and fall accident was a good reminder to keep walkways open and to pay attention to potential hazards in the office environment. It is also an important reminder that workplace injuries can occur in a seemingly harmless environment like an office.
I’m going to end this post the way that we end our daily team meetings: let’s be safe out there…