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Slip-and-fall injuries common in medical facilities, even for staff

Examples of irony will certainly incorporate this: At medical facilities in New Jersey and across the United States that cater to emergencies, employees themselves are often at risk of getting injured owing to the need for speed in responding to crisis situations and other factors.

In the realm of what presents outsized risk to doctors, nurses and other medical workers in fast-paced medical environments, slip-and-fall accidents readily come to the fore.

The reason for that: Most surfaces in hospitals, clinics and emergency rooms are left uncovered, since bare floors are easily cleaned and present less of a risk for the spread of infections and diseases than do carpeted and other covered floors.

While that is obviously understandable and makes for good policy, it also increases the risk of slip, trip and fall incidents for busy workers. According to statistics released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 2,600 medical workers missed one day or more of work last year because of falling at the workplace.

That can be a major premises liability headache for many employers, resulting in personal injury litigation, fines from OSHA and state regulators for failure to maintain safe working conditions and higher workers' compensation outlays for premiums.

Experts say that a sensible response to the risk is decidedly low key and simple in most instances. First, get feedback from employees of known risks and potential hazards. Second, do a physical walk through of the work environment, perhaps with a liability insurer. And, third, remedy the problems, which can often be sufficiently addressed through warning signs, a bit of employee education, mops and safety cones, and brightly colored paints to indicate steps, uneven floors and other hazards.

If you or a family member has suffered a slip-and-fall injury or other accident owing to dangerous property conditions, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation.

Source: American Medical News, "How to save medical office staff from slips, trips and falls," Victoria Stagg Elliott, Dec. 17, 2012

  • Please visit our New Jersey Bergen County Premises Liability page for information on our strong advocacy of persons injured in slip-and-fall and other accidents caused by property owners' negligence in maintaining safe conditions.

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