In the United States people fall at work every day. There are various laws dedicated to protection, prevention, and bettering employees’ work conditions.
Federal agencies like OSHA have determined that the majority of work-related accidents occur because of falling and/or slipping, with injuries ranging from twisted ankles to serious falls and death.
If you have suffered a fall at work, the law offers you several alternatives for making a claim:
- Make a claim to Workers’ Compensation Insurance if your employer is at fault:
The injured person will only receive a percentage of the weekly salary he or she was receiving, usually in a timely manner. This insurance also covers medical costs.
- Make a claim from a third party:
There are situations in which the employer is not responsible for the slip and/or fall that you suffered at work, but rather a third party. Your compensation would be much greater than in the previous option.
Types of falls and slips at work
- Slipping and falling on a wet floor: the most frequent type of fall in the workplace is when bathroom floors are being cleaned and the cleaning company has not marked the wet area or has removed the cones before the floor dries.
- Tripping or falling on a carpet: worn or ripped carpeting causes falls.
- Trips or falls over electrical cables that are dangerously placed.
- Tripping over boxes or equipment that was out of place.
- Slipping and/or falling due to inadequate lighting.
- Falling from trees or roofs.
- Falling from a construction site.
Employees have the right to work in safe conditions. If you feel that your employer is not taking adequate safety measures or that you are being exposed to uncontrolled or dangerous situations, you have the right to submit a complaint and request an inspection of your workplace from the Department of Occupational Safety and Health. During the inspection you can accompany the inspectors to explain the problems that are present. Once the inspection is over, you have the right to see the results of the inspection. Normally if they find that your employer is not taking the necessary safety measures, he or she will be given a date by which the problem must be corrected. Other measures that may be taken are citations and fines. Your employer cannot, under any circumstances, retaliate against you. If this happens, contact the agency again so that your allegation can be investigated.