Keep up with what’s happening in the Texas rental housing industry

Falls top list of injuries for apartment employees

Synopsis

At apartments and condos, falls are a leading cause of injury to employees. Find out how the Texas Apartment Association’s safety group is working to make rental property workplaces in Texas safer.


Key takeaways

  • Slips, trips and falls accounted for more than 31 percent of incurred loss in 2018 for companies in Texas Mutual’s Texas Apartment Association (TAA) Safety Group.
  • Actively practicing fall prevention strategies and good housekeeping are some of the easiest and most important ways to decrease safety hazards.
  • Ask your insurance agent if you are eligible for the TAA Safety Group to take advantage of premium discounts on workers’ comp insurance and the opportunity to earn a group dividend based on the safety performance of group members.
  • For additional information contact communications@taa.org.

Whether for work, school or the temperate climate, non-residents are flocking to Texas. According to the Texas Comptroller’s Office, the Lone Star State’s population is growing by an estimated 1,200 people per day. Many of these newcomers are living in rental housing, including apartments and condominiums.

For employees, a large number of renters translates into a high demand for property management and maintenance. Rental property personnel face inherent risks, but according to data from Texas Mutual Insurance Company, the industry’s most frequent cause of injury is falls.

Slips, trips and falls accounted for more than 31 percent of incurred loss in 2018 for companies in Texas Mutual’s Texas Apartment Association (TAA) Safety Group. Property management and maintenance employees often use ladders and work around wet surfaces, which can increase their risk of falling. So, it’s especially important that employees are vigilant about avoiding falls.

Eliminating risks can prevent costly injuries

One slip is all it takes to cause a potentially devastating accident or injury. Incidents such as these show just how easily a fall can occur:

  • An employee was making a routine repair using a ladder to reach a damaged area on an apartment roof. The ladder slipped and he fell headfirst, resulting in a significant injury.
  • A worker was hanging holiday lights and fell from a ladder. The injury sidelined him and meant a workers’ comp claim for his employer.
  • Another fell from a ladder while changing out light bulbs.
  • Walking up an outdoor ramp after it rained, an employee slipped, putting him out of commission.
  • Another employee slipped in a wet bathroom, and yet another was injured after a fall while cleaning a pool.

All of these accidents resulted in lost work and wages. Yet, many times minimal actions can help prevent falls such as these. Actively practicing fall prevention strategies and good housekeeping are some of the easiest and most important ways to decrease safety hazards.

  1. Educate employees on how to properly use equipment like ladders. Simple actions that can help prevent falls from a ladder include:
    • Assess an area for hazards before beginning a job.
    • Select the right ladder.
    • Safely place and secure a ladder before use.
    • Do not lean too far out on a ladder.
    • Do not carry too much up and down a ladder.
    • Always use the “three points of contact” rule on a ladder, in which two hands and one foot, or one hand and two feet, are always in contact with the ladder.
  2. Complete regularly scheduled inspections of walkways, stairways and other workplace areas like restrooms or swimming pool surfaces that can be wet. Look for slippery/muddy surfaces and potential obstacles like water on the floor.
  3. Train employees to use handrails when ascending or descending stairs.
  4. Follow good housekeeping practices. Immediately remove obstacles that can cause a slip, trip or fall.
  5. Make sure areas have adequate lighting.

Helping eliminate risk factors

One practice that many in the industry are using to help prevent falls is through Texas Mutual’s TAA Safety Group, a workers’ compensation group that property and condo managers can join. The group offers workers’ comp from Texas Mutual, a premium discount and the opportunity to earn a group dividend based on how safe its members are.

To take advantage of all that the TAA Safety Group has to offer those in the industry, ask your insurance agent if you are eligible for the group.

Not all property and condominium management companies are eligible for the safety group. Members must provide evidence of safety programs and performance. Your agent can help determine eligibility. While Texas Mutual can’t guarantee dividends every year, Texas Mutual has returned $3.4 billion to safety-conscious policyholder owners since 1999.

Provided by Texas Mutual Insurance Company, published by Zywave. For more information about the Texas Apartment Association’s Safety Group, email communications@taa.org.

More from October 2021 Member Newsletter

Log in to view members only content.

×