The role of traction in slip-and-fall workplace injuries

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2020 | Workplace Injuries

Workers in most industries in Oklahoma are exposed to circumstances that could lead to slip-and-fall accidents. A significant number of lost workdays and workers’ compensation claims follow workplace injuries that were caused by same-level falls. While neglected housekeeping can cause slip and trip hazards, footwear with the correct soles can provide enough traction to prevent falls.

Backward falls typically happen when the worker’s heel of one foot is placed ahead during the walking motion. If the walking surface is wet or highly polished, that front foot’s heel can slip, causing the worker to fall backward. A variety of injuries, some of them serious, could be caused, depending on how the person lands. Traumatic brain injuries can occur if the worker’s head strikes a hard object. If the worker’s rear foot slips while he or she walks on a slippery surface, a forward fall can result.

The instinctive reaction is to put out the hands to break the fall, and for this reason, fractured wrists and arms are typically some of the various injuries that result from forward falls. This is where traction comes in. The friction between the soles of the shoes and the walking surface determines the traction or adhesion. Traction on icy or wet surfaces is low, but a dry surface like a concrete pavement has high traction. Footwear with non-slip soles that provide high traction can protect workers from same-level falls.

Workplace injuries can, for the most part, be prevented by compliance with safety standards and taking the necessary precautions. However, accidents happen, and Oklahoma workers might find comfort in knowing that the state-regulated workers’ compensation program will have their backs. The benefits claims process could be simplified with the support and guidance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.