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Protecting workers from accidents on the job

Some New York work settings can be more prone to accidents because of the nature of the type of service provided or job performed. However, employers are responsible for maintaining a safe environment that protects both employees and patrons. It is important to understand common types of accidents and the factors that can cause them in order to better plan for a proactive safety protocol in the workplace. Some of the most common types of work-related accidents across the nation are slips, trips and falls.

Although slips, trips and falls are similar, there are distinct differences in each type of workplace accident. For example, slips are caused by inadequate friction between walking surfaces and shoes. Trips involve foot or shoe contact with an item that leads to a drop in altitude. A fall is an uncontrolled descent that occurs suddenly. These issues can occur in connection with a change in the center of gravity for an individual. They can also involve unexpected changes or unseen impediments in the walking path. Causes can range from rolled up mats to a damaged section of flooring. Water is one of the most common issues that can cause these types of injuries as it creates slippery conditions.

An employer dealing with frequent water-related issues in a facility may need to provide extra training and monitoring to minimize the potential for a workplace injury. Special matting systems can be used on surfaces that are consistently wet. Additionally, employees may be expected to wear slip-resistant footwear during affected activities.

An employee who slips or falls in spite of preventive measures should be covered for medical care and possible lost wages if a serious injury results. Workers' compensation is designed to provide needed assistance to injured parties while minimizing the potential for legal action between workers and employers. However, problems in the claims process can make legal support helpful for an injured employee.

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