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Just how bad can a slip and fall at work really be?

Slip-and-fall accidents are the bane of just about every workplace. It doesn't matter if you work in an office or an industrial plant -- you run the risk of falling on the job and losing precious time at work and the income that goes with it.

Slip-and-fall injuries aren't a common cause of occupational fatalities -- although they do sometimes happen. However, they are the primary cause of lost time from work and are the number one reason for a workers' compensation claim. They're also the number one factor behind occupational injury claims among workers aged 55 and up.

Where and why do workers face so many slip-and-fall hazards? The answers may surprise you:

-- Women are particularly vulnerable to slipping on highly-polished marble or tile floors in offices, banks and similar places because they often wear heels, which have less overall area for traction.

-- Women are again susceptible to falls due to snags or holes in office carpeting that's been poorly maintained. The heels of their shoes can easily catch or break on a loose fiber.

-- Uneven surfaces also present a major danger to workers in any industry -- but particularly those working outside or on loading docks where ramps to trucks may not meet evenly with floor of the dock.

-- Spills on floors in a plant or in the break room can be another danger that workers may not be able to see. If a clear liquid, like a slippery lubricant for a piece of machinery has dripped on the ground, even workers with good treads on their shoes may fall.

-- Inappropriate footwear plays a big role in slip-and-fall accidents at work. Employees at fast food restaurants or inside factories often need special shoes to keep them from falling easily on the tiled or concrete floors. If a new employee is working in his or her own personal sneakers, he or she stands a bigger chance of being a slip-and-fall victim.

If you've been the victim of a slip-and-fall accident at work and are having trouble getting workers' compensation benefits to pay your lost wages and medical care, an attorney can let you know what your options are.

Source: NFSI, "Slip & Fall Quick Facts," accessed July 05, 2017

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