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New Pig Releases Walk Zone Safety Report
New Pig, an authority on leaks, drips and spills, has released the Walk Zone Safety Report, an in-depth look at slips, trips and falls in workplaces and public facilities. New Pig surveyed professionals in maintenance, safety, health risk and facilities management across multiple industries and found that many organizations underestimate floor safety risks and are unaware of high-risk walk zones that exist within their buildings, exposing them to significant liability, medical costs, productivity losses and damage to brand reputation.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, same-level slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of workplace injuries, totaling nearly 200,000 in 2015. And the 2017 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index reports that these types of falls resulted in almost $11 billion in workers’ compensation and medical costs last year.
In order to gain a better understanding of why this problem persists — despite well-documented risks and the new OSHA standard on walking-working surfaces — New Pig conducted a survey of floor safety professionals at manufacturing and public-facing facilities, such as supermarkets, stores and other commercial spaces. [Note: All fall-related survey questions focused only on same-level falls, excluding falls from heights.]
Key takeaways from the survey include:
- The number of risk zones is severely underestimated: 46 percent of respondents believe there are only 0-3 same-level fall risk areas in their facility. Yet, the survey revealed more than 10 different locations identified as common fall locations, highlighting the disconnect between perceptions and the true scope of the challenge.
- Most risk zones are not being addressed: Ninety-two percent of organizations place floor mats in entranceways, while all nine of the other most dangerous risk zones go uncovered by the majority of organizations.
- Popular solutions cause falls instead of preventing them: Nearly 15 percent of organizations reported that wrinkled, bunched-up or shifting rubber-backed floor mats are the primary reason for falls in their building.
- Customer walkways are a major problem area: Less than one third (31 percent) of respondents reported placing floor mats in customer walkways, even as nearly one in four (24 percent) experienced falls in those areas.