Most employers in Las Vegas know that slip and fall injuries suffered at their premises can be costly in terms of personal injury settlements. Also a problem for business owners is when employees are injured in slip and fall accidents. Injured employees may miss time from work as they recover and may require workers’ compensation. Certain workplaces, specifically in the retail and wholesale industries, are at particular risk for workers to slip and fall on the job, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Within the retail world, grocery stores and places where meat is handled, like delis and butcher shops, are especially dangerous. The NIOSH report says that workers who handle food, and its potential to create wet or slippery floors, are at a 75 percent greater risk of slip and fall injuries than other types of workers. The report says that grocery store and similar employees are hurt in slip and fall at a rate of 28.3 per 10,000 workers, compared with 16.1 per 10,000 workers, the overall rate in the U.S.
Among the potential hazards for grocery store workers are spills; precipitation tracked in by customers; loose mats or rugs; floors in poor condition and having to carry large boxes that make it difficult to see where they are going. Also, food-related industries typically move at a fast pace, potentially making the situation worse.
Fortunately, there are things employers can do to minimize the risk of injury to workers. The first thing NIOSH recommends is to develop a written slip and fall prevention plan that delineates the responsibilities of both employer and employee. Business owners should also make sure that floors are high-friction and have water-absorbent mats where appropriate. Grocery stores should keep the misters in the produce section pointed the right way so that the floor does not become wet.
Source: Risk and Insurance, “Wholesale, retail trade workers at higher risk of slips, trips, falls,” Dec. 17, 2012
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