Winter in Lake County may arguably be the most dangerous season of the year. This holds true for the workplace as well as anywhere else. An Illinois workers compensation lawyer will often see a large increase of cases dealing with workplace injuries while there is snow on the ground due to the slippery conditions that often develop in winter. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, slip-and-fall accidents occurred 285,380 times in 2012. However, workers can often reduce their chances of slipping and falling by following the following four tips:
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1. Choose anti-slip footwear
One of the most steadfast and reliable options to prevent having a damaging slip-and-fall accident is to wear slip-resistant footwear. Anything with a plastic or leather sole, sneakers and cowboy boots should be avoided. Some helpful anti-slip options include non-skid shoes, ice walkers and anti-slip overshoes. Ensuring that your feet have the necessary traction could be the easiest, most helpful way to preventing accidents.
2. Look for signs
Spotting a puddle in an entryway or on a buffed floor can be difficult in any kind of lighting, so workers should always be on the lookout for signs that indicate there may be a problem. Entryways are the most common areas affected in the winter because as employees enter and remove their snow covered apparel, the area can become wet with melted snow. However, workers should remain vigilant and check for dangers signs whenever they are near a potential problem area, such as bathrooms and areas where water tends to pool, or outside on icy roads.
3. Hold employer accountable
Any good Illinois workers compensation lawyer knows that it is the employer’s responsibility to maintain a safe work environment, and that includes providing safety equipment. Employees should always seek needed supplies from their employers in order to make sure that everyone stays safe. In winter, this often means that employers should have large amounts of salt on hand to thaw icy areas around office buildings and at job sites. Jobs that require work outside are particularly vulnerable to icy walkways and roads, and adequate salt use can prevent accidents from occurring.
4. Be smart in potentially dangerous situations
Walking deliberately and slowly can allow the body to reclaim its center of gravity more quickly to help prevent falls. Workers can also point their feet slightly outward to center their balance, and should always use safety rails when available. If a worker does fall, they should always try to prevent serious back, head and neck injury by covering their heads and rolling when possible.
Those who have been injured in a slip-and-fall accident at work can contact an Illinois workers compensation lawyer to learn about and begin the claims process.