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'Tis the season for slips, trips, and falls

When responding to a crisis in the hospital or at a private practice, medical staff is often hurrying along upon uncarpeted and sometimes slick surfaces. In the rush to assist another, they often end up injuring themselves due to slips, trips, and falls. As a leading area in the medical field, Baltimore hospitals and practices have seen their fair share as well.

These workplace injuries can range from minor to major depending on the situation and environment in which one falls. While emergencies will never end the need for speed and quick response time, there are steps that the medical profession can take in order to reduce these slips, trips, and falls. Reducing these types of injuries will not only save lives, but also much revenue for the hospitals and practices in reducing time off due to injury, workers' compensation costs, legal fees, and less paperwork due to the injuries.

One of the first steps recommended by professionals for reducing these injuries is for the administration to ask their employees and listen to their concerns. Since they are the closest to the action, they understand best where the workplace dangers are.

Secondly, having an employee walk the premises to look for any liabilities and potential hazards would go a long way in preventing these injuries. They can look for tripping hazards, uneven ground, whether any hand sanitizing or soap dispensers leak and leave residue on the ground, or even just ensuring that dangerous areas are clearly marked.

Finally, identifying potential hazards for patients, employees, and visitors can reduce the likelihood of an occurrence. The visual identifiers need to be noticeable and not hidden, or they do not serve their purpose well. While these are just a few steps to reducing slips, trips, and falls, many others may be considered and your staff has probably thought of ways in which these issues could be improved upon; all you need to do is ask.

With the inclement weather that accompanies winter, slips, trips, and falls tend to increase. Should you experience a workplace injury or a slip, trips, or fall outside of the workplace, please consult with a personal injury attorney in order to best address your options.

Source: American Medical News, "How to save medical office staff from slips, trips and falls," Victoria Stagg Elliott, Dec. 17, 2012

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