We're Underestimating Slip and Fall Risks: New Pig Survey

Underestimating floor safety risks and being unaware of high-risk walk zones within their buildings will expose employers to significant liability, medical costs, productivity losses, and damage to brand reputation, New Pig stresses, citing BLS data that same-level slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of workplace injuries.

A new report from New Pig, an authority on leaks, drips, and spills, indicates slip and fall risks are underestimated by many organizations and aren't being adequately addressed. The Walk Zone Safety Report looks at slips, trips, and falls in workplaces and public facilities, and the company prepared it by surveying professionals earlier this year in maintenance, safety, health risk, and facilities management across multiple industries.

Underestimating floor safety risks and being unaware of high-risk walk zones within their buildings will expose employers to significant liability, medical costs, productivity losses, and damage to brand reputation, New Pig stresses, citing BLS data that same-level slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of workplace injuries, totaling nearly 200,000 in 2015, and the 2017 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index reported this type of falls resulted in almost $11 billion in workers' compensation and medical costs last year.

New Pig said these are key takeaways from the survey:

  • The number of risk zones is severely underestimated, as 46 percent of respondents believe there are only zero to three same-level fall risk areas in their facility. Yet the survey revealed more than 10 different locations identified as common fall locations.
  • Most risk zones are not being addressed: Ninety-two percent of organizations place floor mats in entranceways while all nine of the other most dangerous risk zones go uncovered by the majority of organizations.
  • Popular solutions cause falls instead of preventing them: Nearly 15 percent of organizations reported that wrinkled, bunched-up, or shifting rubber-backed floor mats are the primary reason for falls in their building.
  • Customer walkways are a major problem area: Only 31 percent of respondents reported placing floor mats in customer walkways, although nearly one in four (24 percent) experienced falls in those areas.

"This survey was a real eye-opener for us," said Dan Silver, New Pig's vice president of product development. "We learned from some really dedicated people that protecting employees or customers requires a change of mindset from a narrow location-specific view to a more holistic, entire-facility view of floor safety. Terms like 'walkway audit' and 'safety planogram' need to become part of their regular vocabulary. Great solutions are out there to dramatically reduce slip and fall risks."

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  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2019

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