SLIPS, TRIPS & FALLS… Don’t get tripped up !
Slips, trips, and falls include the following types of events:
- Slips and trips without falling: Injuries occurring when a worker catches him/herself from falling due to slip or trip. (This can cause impact injuries with other objects)
- Falling on the same level: Includes tripping, slipping, falling while sitting, and falling onto or against object on the same level. (This can cause impact injuries with other objects)
- Falling to a lower level: Includes falling from a collapsing structure, falling through surfaces, and falling from ladders, roofs, scaffolding or other structures
- Jumping to a lower level: Different from falls because they are controlled and voluntary
In 2019, 880 workers died in falls, and 244,000 were injured badly enough to require days off of work. A worker doesn’t have to fall from a high level to suffer fatal injuries; 146 workers were killed in falls on the same level in 2019, according to Injury Facts. Falls can happen anywhere, even at a “desk job.” Floors, walkways, and ground level surfaces are the primary source for slips, trips, and falls, even over ladders and elevated levels. (Excluding the construction industry).
Here are a few safety tips that will help your workforce avoid these types of injuries. These are applicable to administrative areas as well as mechanical areas, such as your Facilities Maintenance, Public Works, Fleet or Utilities Departments.
- Falls are the #1 cause of death for older adults: fall-proof your home
- Keep floors and surfaces clear of clutter
- Keep file cabinets and desk drawers closed
- Keep electrical and phone cords out of traffic areas
- Install handrails on stairways
- Wear sensible footwear
- Never stand on chairs, tables, or any surface with wheels
- Properly arrange furniture to create open pathways
- Maintain good lighting indoors and out
- Practice strict ladder safety guidelines and make sure ladder is correct type for the job/task.
- Keep the work area clear of hazards and immediately clean up spills
- Read all instructions and safety precautions on your equipment
- Don’t wear loose clothing that can get caught in equipment
- Be aware of weather & environmental conditions that can create slippery surfaces indoors and out.
Statistics provided by the National Safety Council. Please visit the following links for additional information.
By Steve Gailbreath, Loss Prevention Consultant