Slip and Falls: A Danger in Any Workplace
By: Donald M. Reno, DC | Executive Director, AmeriProtect
Slips, trips, and falls are a major source of workplace injuries that result in workers’ compensation claims. In Michigan, 17.4 percent of all Workers’ Compensation cases were due to injuries sustained from falling or slipping on the job. According to data from the National Floor Safety Institute, slip and falls represent the primary cause of lost days from work and are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims.
Wet floors, slippery conditions, and other tripping hazards can be caused by a variety of things – spillages, cleaning activities, rain, loose mats/carpets/floor coverings, icy conditions, uneven flooring, and computer cables, just to name a few. These conditions can cause an employee to slip and lose their balance, trip over an object, etc.
It is critical that unsafe conditions that could lead to slips, trips, and falls are spotted immediately and corrected, so that potential workers’ compensation claims can be prevented before any injuries occur.
Ways to Reduce Slips, Trips, and Falls in Your Office
- Keep all walking surfaces clean and free from clutter
- Maintain proper lighting inside – and outside – your practice
- Keep all power, internet, and phone cords away from walkways (or be sure they are secured and covered, if this is not possible)
- If there is uneven ground inside or outside your practice, use adequate signage to alert employees (and patients)
- Ensure there is a doormat that allows for thorough wiping of shoes and boots, due to Michigan’s frequently snowy and/or rainy weather
- Look for cracks on sidewalk pavement, in parking lot, etc., and place warning signs around areas that need repair
- Clean up any spills immediately
- Make sure any tiled or hard wood areas that may get wet have rugs/carpets (with non-skid padding or tape to prevent them from slipping out from under an employee)
- Keep filing cabinets and/or desk drawers closed when not in use
- Replace burnt-out light bulbs immediately
- Encourage employees to wear comfortable, properly fitted shoes
The most ideal strategy is preventing an injury before workers’ compensation is needed. The good news is that most slips, trips, and falls are preventable. Be sure to frequently survey your workspace and assess potential hazards and avoid potential issues. Being proactive will ultimately keep your employees (and your patients) out of harm’s way from slips, trips, and falls.
What is AmeriProtect?
Who owns and operates AmeriProtect?
AmeriProtect, located in Lansing, Michigan, is owned by the Michigan Association of Chiropractors (MAC) and its operations run out of the MAC headquarters. It is governed by its own Board of Trustees, all MAC members, who oversee the growth and transparency of the group.
Where do the profits go?
In short, all profits stay in the profession. Sure, there are overhead costs, but the mission of AmeriProtect is to provide quality, affordable insurance products to Michigan chiropractors, while keeping their hard-earned financial resources in the chiropractic profession.
How does AmeriProtect benefit the chiropractic profession?
Normally, when chiropractors purchase their health and workers’ compensation from other carriers, that money spent is NEVER returned to the profession. In fact, some carriers actively lobby against chiropractors at the capital. Here is a quote from a senior Blue Cross official testifying against Michigan Senate Bill 282 (which would require workers’ compensation to pay for all chiropractic services legally performed under our scope of practice):
“This bill expands reimbursement for chiropractic care into the primary care arena, which we believe jeopardizes patient safety and exposes injured workers to the risk of misdiagnosis and unnecessary care. A worker’s health and safety is our foremost concern whether it is on the job site or in the exam room. By not interacting with a primary care doctor, the patient risks a delay in receiving appropriate care.”
In short, the money most chiropractors are spending on health and workers’ compensation coverages is funding opposition activities. AmeriProtect wants to help stop that process.