Slips, Trips, and Falls Cause Injuries, Cost Money for Hospitals

hospital hallwayIf asked to name an industry prone to on-the-job injuries and illnesses, many people might think of construction or manufacturing. Most wouldn’t think of the medical field, yet OSHA lists the number of injuries and illnesses recorded for hospitals as almost double that of private industry in its entirety.

In 2011, the latest year for data provided by OSHA, hospitals reported 253,700 work-related injuries and illnesses.

Twenty-five percent of those injuries that caused employees to miss work were the result of slip-and-fall accidents and tripping.

Doctors, surgeons, and nurses are synonymous with hospitals, but there are also other hospital employees who face a risk of getting injured on the job. Kitchen and cafeteria staff are surrounded by potential hazards on a daily basis – slipping on spilled food and beverages or slipping in puddles left by a leaking dishwasher or sink.

Every year hospital employees wash tons of soiled laundry in the linen services department. All those sheets, towels, and hospital gowns must be washed and dried. A leaking washing machine could present a slip-and-fall hazard, as could the condensation that may form on the floor due to the hot water and steam from the dryers.

Cleaning is a vital aspect of every hospital’s efforts to provide a sanitary environment for employees, patients, and visitors. Yet mopping floors or cleaning up spills also present serious hazards for employees. When the mop and bucket come out of the closet, the risk for a slip-and-fall accident goes up. If not enough wet floor signs are displayed or they are put up too far away from the cleaning site, other employees won’t notice the floors may be slick, possibly leading to a slip-and-fall injury.

To prevent slip-and-fall accidents the CDC recommends caution signs that grab attention, specifically signs that are taller and use flashing lights to alert people of possibly hazardous conditions. Auto-Sign’s warning signs go above and beyond even the CDC’s guidelines. In addition to flashing LED lights, Auto-Sign’s warning signs also include an audio component to warn of hazards.

We can all agree that hospitals should be a place where those in the medical profession heal others, not get hurt themselves on the job. Technology is advancing healthcare, so why shouldn’t it advance safety, too?

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