Falls in the workplace can cause injuries which have wide ranging repercussions, including the inability to work for days, weeks or months following the incident.
This is of concern to both businesses and those who may be injured.
Companies lose the use of employees for a time, which can stretch their resources or even dent productivity and profit, while injured staff can lose income while they recover, resulting in financial difficulties which only add to their physical, and sometimes psychological, woes.
WorkCover NSW recently reminded businesses how important it is to prevent some of the most common injuries which happen in the workplace: slips, trips and falls.
The workplace safety authority released a statement on March 27 revealing that between 2009 and 2011, 71,932 workers compensation claims were filed for workers injured or killed as a result of these accidents.
The total cost to the NSW workers compensation scheme was $649 million.
General manager of WorkCover’s Work Health and Safety Division John Watson said that finding ways of reducing these injuries should be a priority.
“Common causes of workplace slips, trips and falls include spillages, workplace clutter, uneven floor surfaces and the use of ladders,” said Mr Watson.
He said that falls don’t necessarily need to be from a height to cause injury. People can also get hurt falling down on the same level, kneeling, stepping or sitting down on an object.
Businesses are encouraged to take steps to reduce the risk of these incidents occurring.
“These include identifying the problem, assessing the cause, eliminating or controlling the hazard and monitoring it.”
Nonetheless, he acknowledged that it may be challenging for small businesses and sole traders to find the money to make safety improvements.
He reminded these parties that WorkCover offers rebates of up to $500 for the purchase and installation of safety improvements, as part of its Small Business Rebate Program.
When injuries have occurred, Mr Watson says that the best outcome is to get the injured party back to work quickly.
Those that suffer injuries at their workplace may be entitled to make a claim for workers compensation.
Such claims needn’t be only for catastrophic injury, as there are many circumstances under which you may be entitled to compensation. For example, back injury compensation may be available to you if you hurt your back while performing your duties.
It is best to talk to compensation lawyers so that you can take advantage of their expertise in this area of the law. No win no fee lawyers offer a free consultation and a guarantee that they won’t take on your case unless they are convinced that you will be successful.