It’s “Slip and Fall” Season for Small Businesses

Business owners in wintery climes should be on their guard lest their employees slip and fall on ice and snow. It turns out that nearly a third of all workers’ compensation claims result from these types of accidents.

These types of claims have risen dramatically: Accident Fund Insurance Company of America and workers’ compensation insurance specialists United Heartland said that their data shows that said that winter-related slips and falls claims doubled in 2013-2014 over the previous year.

They now account for 29% of all workers’ compensation claims – but businesses in some states have it even worse. The companies said that businesses in the following states see the greatest percent of their claims from winter-related slips and falls:

Indiana – 37%

Wisconsin – 33%

Michigan – 32%

Illinois – 32%

Minnesota – 29%

The insurers warn that the costs to businesses from these types of accidents include time off work, temporary employee costs, overtime for existing employees and increased insurance costs.

Risk can be minimized by taking certain precautions: signs and barriers can keep people out of dangerous areas. Having an employee safety program is a great way to communicate with employees about the greater risks present during the winter months, (and may help business owners keep their insurance premiums in check).

Business owners should avoid putting employees in dangerous situations by keeping walkways, parking lot and other outdoor areas clear of snow and ice. Employees should be cautioned about carrying heavy items when walking outside, and should exercise caution when getting in and out of vehicles.

With winter slip-and-fall claims mounting, it is a good idea for business owners to take a fresh look at the risks present for their employees and to put procedures in place to mitigate those risks.


Copyright Today’s Credit Unions