Electrical Cord Causes Slip and Fall

Loss Amount: $56,000

Situation: A veterinary technician was walking through the hospital’s grooming department and stepped on an electrical cord stretched across the floor to a ventilation fan. She slipped and fell against the edge of a washing machine. The fall resulted in a bruised and strained back. Because it was during the holidays and the hospital was busy, the employee notified the owner but did not seek medical attention. A week later she asked to see a doctor.

As a result of her injuries, the employee received several months of physical therapy and pain management. She worked throughout this time, but with restrictions to lifting and prolonged standing that prevented her from acting in a technician role. Eventually she returned to full duties but has a permanent disability to her back that puts limitations on her work duties with regard to heavy lifting.

Lesson Learned: An electric cord on the floor is a simple hazard that can cause a serious accident. To address this exposure the following simple precautions are recommended:

  • Consider the location of tools and appliances being used. Route their electrical cords so they do not lie across pathways.
  • Use hooks and other devices to collect or secure cords.
  • If power is needed in a special location such as the middle of the room, install a drop outlet from the ceiling (do not use extension cords, as Cal-OSHA does not allow businesses to use extension cords).
  • Keep cords short. Long cords on the floor are a great hazard for slips, trips and falls.

For further assistance in preventing all types of losses, call VISC at 888.762.3143.