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The importance of floor safety plans for Louisiana employers

A new Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Protective Equipment rule proposed by OSHA could play a role in reducing slip and fall accidents in the general industry. The rule was first proposed in 1990 and revised in both 2003 and 2010. It may go into the Federal Register at some point in 2016. However, if it doesn't, the proposed rule does offer suggestions that employers may want to implement anyway.

For instance, while there is no formal requirement for a written floor safety plan, employers are required to conduct periodic checks. Creating a specific floor safety plan or including it as part of an overall safety plan may ensure compliance with the new rule when it is eventually adopted. For instance, the new rule would require facilities to be maintained in an orderly and sanitary way.

This means that trash should be taken out, objects that protrude into a hallway or onto a walkway should be removed, and other hazards should be identified and rectified. OSHA also says that floors should be kept dry and clean at all times, and surfaces that cannot be kept generally dry must be covered with a mat or another suitable platform. Keeping mops or squeegees nearby for employee use could also help keep a floor as dry as possible at all times.

If an employee is injured in a workplace accident, he or she may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. Such benefits may be provided on a temporary or permanent basis to replace a portion of an employee's salary and pay for medical bills related to injuries suffered at work. This may help an employee keep up with daily living expenses until he or she is able to return to work.

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