According to the National Floor Safety Institute, slips, and falls account for the highest number of lost workdays. Slippery floors in the workplace are costly to both employer and employee. There is the cost to the employer of higher insurance premiums, lost productivity, and training replacement workers; and for the employee, medical expenses and lost wages.
SLIPPERY FLOORS AND LIABILITY IN THE WORKPLACE
When an employee slips and falls at work due to a slippery floor, who is liable for the injury? How is the injured employee compensated for medical expenses and lost income? The law provides for both employee and employer in such cases.
In Georgia, workers’ compensation insurance is required of any employer who has at least three workers in their employment. This insurance covers any on-the-job injury to an employee. If a worker slips and falls on a slippery floor while performing their assigned duties, during work hours, then workers’ compensation pays for the employee’s medical expenses and income.
Conversely, the law in Georgia considers workers’ compensation to be an “exclusive remedy” for an on-the-job injury. That is, the employee may not receive any compensation from the employer for their injury beyond that provided by workers’ compensation insurance, even though the employer may technically be liable for the slippery floor.
The law does provide, however, for the employee to file suit against any third party that may be liable. For example, a cleaning service contracted by the employer may be found negligent in failing to close off a recently mopped floor that led to the injury accident.
ADVOCACY FOR THE INJURED EMPLOYEE
Workplace injuries can be life-changing events. An on-the-job illness could lead to long-term health care needs, permanent loss of work, or require you to accept a lower-paying position if you can no longer perform your original job assignments.
Faced with such high stakes, you need to know you have someone in your corner who understands the workers’ compensation system, how to ensure a file is approved and that the employee is receiving fair and just compensation and medical care.
Fry | Goehring is a team of legal professionals who share a passion for helping those in need, aggressively but respectfully fighting for their rights through strong negotiation and sure-handed litigation. Let us help you with your workers’ compensation claim.