Not only does an employer have a moral duty to employees to keep his or her workplace safe and free of unnecessary dangers, but the employer also has a legal duty to maintain safe premises. If the employer is grossly negligent in failing to keep his or her premises risk-free, for example - in addition to being able to file a workers' compensation claim - an injured employee may have a viable cause of action to pursue financial damages in civil court.
To prevent unnecessary accidents, one thing that employers must pay particularly close attention to is the prevention and speedy elimination of wet and slippery surfaces. Here is what employers and managers can do to eliminate such dangers:
- Parking lots have to stay in good repair. If workers are walking through the parking lot, they shouldn't have to navigate slippery oil spots, ice, large potholes or cracks that could trip them and result in injuries.
- During winter months, any snow and ice on sidewalks or outdoor areas frequented by employees must be removed as quickly as possible. If necessary, employers should cordon off slippery areas during extreme weather conditions to prevent slipping risks.
- Wherever there is a potentially slippery area frequented by employees, employers should apply anti-skid paint or anti-skid adhesive striping. Employers should also use anti-skid floor cleaning solution to give employees as much traction as possible.
- Employers should assign an employee to "anti-slip" duty. This employee should inspect work areas at least several times a day to ensure that there aren't any unnecessary slip and fall risks.
If you suffered injuries at work because of a wet or slippery surface, you may have both a viable workers' compensation claim and a personal injury claim for financial damages depending on your situation. By visiting our website you can learn more about the basics of injured worker lawsuits.