Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist*

Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist*

Office falls: An underappreciated danger

How bad can a simple slip, trip and fall be when you’re in an office?

The answer is “pretty bad.” It may surprise you to learn that falls are the number one type of office accident and the number one cause of disabling injuries among office workers. Although most people think of office jobs as pretty low-key and much safer than factory work or a lot of other occupations, studies indicate that office workers are more highly prone to serious injuries as a result of falls than most other non-office workers.

What are the common sources of office falls?

The reality is that office jobs aren’t without their dangers. You only have to consider the following:

  • Slippery surfaces: Smooth marble or polished tile floors look great but can be very hazardous – particularly for folks who are wearing smooth-bottomed dress shoes or high heels. A lot of falls happen at transition points, like when someone steps off the office carpet onto the tile floor of a lobby or hallway and they lose their footing.
  • Clutter and obstructions: Cluttered workspaces and obstructed pathways are prime contributors to trips and falls. Unorganized office areas, boxes left of files left in walkways and loose cables snaking across the floor to printers or other electronics can all lead to serious accidents.
  • Inadequate lighting: Poorly lit staircases, hallways and parking lots can lead to missteps and falls – often with tragic results.
  • Poorly maintained carpets: All it takes is a loose carpet tile or some pulled fibers to catch an office worker’s heel and cause them to topple forward when they’re walking.

When a fall happens, a worker may be lucky to escape with nothing more than a few bruises. Those hard marble and tile floors are unforgiving, however, so broken bones and spinal cord injuries are common. An office worker can also easily get injured by hitting any number of things as they go down. A glancing blow off the corner of a desk, for example, could lead to concussions, permanent brain damage or death.

There really is no such thing as a “little” fall, no matter what anybody says. It’s important to remember that if you slip and fall at work, even if you simply misstepped, don’t let an employer tell you that you aren’t eligible for worker’s compensation because you wore the wrong shoes or should have seen the cord in your path. Seeking experienced legal guidance can help you get the benefits you are due.