Injuries Resulting from Slipping and Tripping
Slip, trips, and falls constitute the majority of workplace accidents. They cause 15% of all accidental deaths, and are second only to motor vehicles as a cause of accidental fatalities. Even seemingly minor trip and falls at the jobsite can have serious consequences, leading to back injury, head injury, and sprained muscles, all of which will keep an employee from being able to perform his or her tasks in the workplace.
Maine employees injured in slip, trip, and fall accidents on the jobsite may have a viable workers’ compensation claim. Under the workers’ compensation system, employees injured in the course and scope of employment will receive benefits. Employees must report their slip and fall injuries within 30 days, or their claim will be barred. Further, employees must sustain an injury of the magnitude as to require missed work time or medical attention.
Slip and fall victims can receive workers’ compensation benefits that cover medical bills, prescriptions, mileage reimbursements, payment for vocational rehabilitation, and weekly wage replacement. Employees who sustain permanent total or partial disability as a result of the slip and fall accident will be eligible for more extensive benefits, and the family members of employees who die as a result of a slip and fall injury may receive death benefits.Types of Slips, Trips, and Falls
There are two types of falls in the workplace: elevated falls and same-level falls.
Same Level Falls
Over 65% of fall related injuries occur as a result of falls from same-level walking surfaces. Common causes of same-level falls on the jobsite include:
- Slippery surfaces—spills of liquid and other slippery products occur every day in workplaces across America, from the service industry to wholesale and retail. Slippery surface falls can cause mere bruising or contusions, but can also lead to fractures and traumatic brain injury. Employers can take several actions to prevent slippery surface falls, such as the use of non-slip mats in locations known to involve spills and implementing a protocol for quickly, and efficiently cleaning all spills.
- Snow and ice—particularly in Maine, where snow during the winter abounds, employees are often injured walking to or from work, or walking on snow and ice during job tasks. Employers can minimize the risk of snow and ice falls by timely clearing dangerous conditions.
- Trips—trips generally result from walking over uneven surfaces or into misplaced objects. Employers should take care to fix any uneven walking surfaces, including sidewalks leading to and from parking areas, and keep the workplace clear of any clutter that an employee could trip over.
Elevated falls are any falls that occur from a height. These falls occur most often in the construction industry, but also commonly occur in agriculture, forestry, mining, and other similar fields. Elevated falls hold the potential for severe, sometimes life threatening injury. Employers who require their employees work from a height must provide appropriate training, safety protection, and supervision to help prevent falls.Maine Employee Rights Group: Getting Injured Workers Back On Their Feet
Maine Employee Rights Group represents injured employees statewide. Our clients include construction workers, clerical workers, school teachers, nurses, and truck drivers, among many others. At Maine Employee Rights Group, we recognize the difficulties employees injured in slip and fall accidents often face in obtaining full coverage under the existing workers’ compensation scheme. As such, we strive to guide you through the insurance web, working with you to ensure you receive maximum compensation and proper medical treatment. We offer representation on a contingency fee basis. Call us today at 207.874.0905 to schedule a consultation at one of our convenient meeting locations. We also offer home or hospital consultations for our mobility-impaired clients.