The Bollinger Law Firm, P.C.

Tips to reduce workplace injuries in medical practices

The one office where North Carolina employees may always be required to move around quickly is a medical office. Staff members are required to move around quickly on an uncarpeted floor in response to a medical crisis. This increases the risk of not just a slip or a fall, but also of a more severe workplace injury, as the fall is on a hard floor.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2,600 employees in medical offices missed at least one day from work because they were hurt on the job in a slip, trip or fall workplace accident. Since medical emergencies always arise and need immediate resolution, creating a safe working environment may be the only cost-effective and efficient way to reduce workplace injuries.

According to occupational medicine experts, an unsafe working environment can not only trigger expensive lawsuits and lead to missing work days but also lowers workers' morale. In addition to this, violations of safety regulations can lead to increased workers' compensation premiums.

Occupational medicine professionals believe that increasing workplace safety does not have to be an expensive and long-term process--it can begin with the simple step of asking employees what potential problems they see. In addition to this, employers should take a good look at their own place and determine where potential hazards are. Common problems are usually electrical cords, liquids accumulating on the floor and spilled beverages. In the winter, holiday decorations and snow tracking in on the floor may increase the risk of slipping and falling.

Once the problems have been identified, medical practices should determine how they are going to address the risk. Possible solutions include employee education, warning signs or removing the risk, such as bundling up cords or slip resistant mats to absorb water.

Creating a safe workplace environment is an employer's duty, and taking these simple steps may go a long way in reducing the number of workplace accidents. Workers injured on the job may be able to file a workers' compensation claim to recover compensation for the time they took off from work and for their medical expenses.

Source: American Medical News, "How to save medical office staff from slips, trips and falls," Victoria Stagg Elliott, Dec. 17, 2012

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