We all value our work environment. From colleague relationships to the quality of the coffee machine in the breakroom, workplaces are important to Australians because it’s where we spend so many of our waking hours. But one aspect we often fail to consider can sometimes be the cause of the most pain and suffering. It is a question everyone should ask themselves every day; is my workplace safe?
When someone mentions the topic of a slip, trip or fall, maybe the first thing that comes to mind is a scene from a slapstick comedy of some foolish character or an unfortunately placed banana peel. But the sad reality is that these incidents are the cause of thousands of preventable injuries every year, ranging from minor cuts and sprains to traumatic brain damage – often caused by hazards so common, you wouldn’t think twice about seeing them every day!
So, what injuries are you most likely to suffer from after a slip, trip of fall?
- Fractures and dislocated joints – usually wrists and fingers but also knees and shoulder dislocation
- Sprains, superficial cuts, and bruises
- Lacerations and open wounds
- Burns and scalds
While these injuries are rarely life threatening, they have can have a mental and emotional impact on an individual. The inconvenience of being kept from work, not being able to play with your kids or having to abandon your housework can be incredibly frustrating – especially when the injury was sustained through no fault of your own.
With that said, slips, trips and falls are often the cause of much more serious injuries. Australia’s Comcare and other federal agencies report that thousands of slips, trips and falls lead to serious injury or death every year. These involve long term and life-altering injuries including spinal cord injuries and brain damage. Globally, they are the second leading cause of unintentional injury and death after traffic incidents.
Many slips, trips and falls that are investigated are found to be preventable, often caused by environmental factors. This includes hazards such as unsafe walkways and inadequate lighting that are often the result of laziness and disorganisation. Trips can be caused by something as simple as an object on the floor like an electrical cable, untidy tools or even an open bottom drawer. Further, slips can be caused by a poorly maintained floor that has become wet or greasy. Fixing these hazards doesn’t require a restructure of the building or even a handyman, all it takes is a bit of common sense!
However, if you do sustain an injury at work due to unsafe premises or a hazard, your co-worker will not be the one found liable but rather your employer, as they are responsible for always maintaining a safe work environment.
If you believe that your injury was caused by the negligence of your employer, you may be entitled to compensation through a work cover claim. Further, if you had a slip, trip or fall in a public place or a private venue like a supermarket, you may also be entitled to compensation. Contact us today for a free case assessment.