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Helping hands injure themselves often enough

The winter season and the cold and wet weather that accompany it often brings an increase in slips, trips, and falls, especially in New York. Many of these, if severe enough end with a visit to the hospital or emergency room. It is however, not expected that those treating the injured will themselves experience a slip, trip, or fall on the way to lending a helping hand.

Often enough, the exact scenario described above actually occurs. This is due to many factors, including the nature of the work, the work environment, and even Mother Nature bringing her elements into the workplace. Workplace injuries at hospitals, while impossible to eliminate, are preventable though with a few steps taken by the administration.

The first step to any reduction in potential hazards in the workplace is identification. The objects or environment that can be dangerous to workplace safety must be brought to the attention of those solving the problem. In order to best be able to identify these hazards though, the administration must consult their staff that deal with them on a daily basis and then listen to that staff's concerns. Hospital staffs know where the concerns and inefficiencies within the hospital lie that can lead to injury may be.

Once identified, those objects and environments that present a concern must be adequately labeled with visual identifiers for all to see. The better marked, the more aware those passing by will be of potential hazards - even if they are running by to help in an emergency.

Finally, cleaning up spills and mopping up the weather that others bring into the hospital will go a long way in reducing slips, trips, and falls of both staff and visitors. For sanitary reasons, hospitals avoid carpet and hence the floors are more apt to become slick when wet. A quick clean-up of these hazards will eliminate this risk as quickly as possible.

These are only a few pointers that can assist with addressing workplace injuries and the potential pitfalls and hazards a dangerous work environment may contain. If you or someone you know has experienced a workplace injury, please consult with a workers' compensation attorney to further explore the legal options available to you.

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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