Whether you work in an office, warehouse, construction site or another location, no workplace is without its own unique set of dangers. Even the most careful employee can slip, trip or fall in a work space. Read on to find out how to prevent these accidents and what injuries you might sustain.

Slipping in the workplace

Slips can be caused by slick or wet floors, clutter covering the ground or accidental spills. No matter the environment, many different items can be knocked to the ground and cause a slippery surface. The key to preventing slips is to be aware of your surroundings, post wet floor signs and immediately pick up or clean up items that fall on the floor.

Tripping over items on the ground

Tripping, like slipping, is all about what is on the floor. Rugs, cables and clutter can cause a foot to catch and trip up the unaware individual. To prevent tripping, keep walkways clean, cover electric cables or tape them to the floor and be sure rugs are anchored, so they do not curl up.

Injuries caused by slipping and tripping and the inevitable fall

Slipping and tripping typically lead to falling if the individual is caught off balance. Workers can also fall from ladders or step stools that are unsecure or placed on uneven ground. Injuries that can result from a slip, trip or fall can include sprains, strains, broken bones, tears, dislocations and soreness.

Some injuries may be minor, while others necessitate a visit to the hospital. Even if an injury seems minor, it is vital to not only seek proper treatment right away, but to also report it to your organization’s human resource department. Some orthopedic injuries can initially present as minor but as time goes on can cause long-lasting problems.

Prevention is the best course of action

Prevention of workplace injuries is part of every employee’s job. Floors and walkways need to be maintained in a clean, dry and constantly monitored manner. Work equipment should be well maintained and recommended protective gear should always be worn. Individuals should also be aware of their surroundings and avoid dangerous conditions.

What to do if an injury occurs

Although you and your co-workers may do your best to prevent workplace injuries, accidents can still happen. Additionally, some orthopedic injuries can develop without any specific incident occurring — for example, carpal tunnel from constantly typing and using a mouse or lower back issues from improper posture and low-quality office equipment.

If an injury does occur, you should immediately inform your supervisor. Every workplace has its own set of rules and policies, so stay up-to-date on your organization’s protocol. Some may require you to visit a specific physician. Be sure to keep and make copies of any and all documentation from healthcare visits relating to your injury.

As your partner in diagnosing and treating work-related injuries, Missouri Orthopedics & Advanced Sports Medicine has a section on our blog dedicated to the topic with more resources. We want to get you back on your feet and back to work quickly. So don’t wait. Make an appointment today!