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Workers' compensation benefits for slip, trips and falls

Occupational injuries occur in all settings, and while each industry has its unique safety hazards, some risks are inherent to all workplace environments. The number of workers' compensation claims that are filed for injuries resulting from slips, trips and falls is an obvious indication that more attention must be paid to the mitigation of these hazards. The consequences of such accidents could be life altering, and California safety authorities say that both slips and trips can be prevented with minimum effort.

The lack of traction or friction between feet and walking surfaces cause slips, and trips typically result from a worker losing his or her balance when a foot strikes an object. Typical circumstances that lead to slip-and-fall accidents in workplaces include slippery conditions caused by spills, oily walking surfaces, loose floor mats and flooring with various degrees of traction in different areas. Wearing non-slip footwear and cleaning up spills immediately can prevent most slip-and-fall accidents.

When it comes to same-level trips, clutter and debris in walkways, randomly placed objects, uncovered cables snaking across walkways, poor lighting, open drawers, and frayed or wrinkled rugs and carpets are typical causes. Falls from heights are often caused by unstable work surfaces, floor openings, unprotected edges and precariously placed ladders. The lack of fall protection or inadequate training in the proper use of fall harnesses is often identified as safety violations in work accident investigations.

Remedies include proper housekeeping, alertness and avoiding distractions while walking. However, slips and trips will likely continue to occur, and injured workers will suffer financial and health consequences. Fortunately, the California workers' compensation insurance program is a no-fault system that covers all work-related injuries. An attorney with experience in fighting for maximum benefits can assist with the navigation of the benefits claims process in pursuit of compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages and other benefits allowed under applicable laws.

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