Prevention of slips trips and falls in the workplace is very important as it is one of the major causes of injury in the workplace.
At the end of this article, you will be able to identify the major causes of slip, trip and fall in the work place and the preventive measures that should be adopted against them.
In 2013, injuries from slips, trips and falls resulted in 229,190 cases involving days away from work, and 724 workers died, according to the 2016 edition of the National Safety Council chartbook “Injury Facts.”
How slip and trip occurs
Slips happen when there is not enough friction or traction between your feet and the surface you are walking on.
Common causes include: Wet or oily floors, spills, loose or unanchored mats, and flooring that lacks the same degree of traction in all areas, etc..
Trips happen when your foot strikes an object, causing you to lose your balance.
Trip occurs for several reasons, including clutter in walkways, poor lighting, uncovered cables, drawers being left open and wrinkled carpeting or rugs, etc.
7 Ways for prevention of slips trips and falls in the workplace
1. Maintain good housekeeping
Keep walkways clear. An unobstructed path minimizes the opportunity for an employee to trip over an unexpected object and reduces the potential for a spill that could create a dangerous slipping hazard.
2. Ensure good lighting
Proper lighting inside and outside of the workplace will illuminate areas that may be common places for employees or customers to trip or fall.
3. Place signage where necessary
Using clear, well-placed signage can help call attention to potential problem areas. A sign indicating a step, gap, uneven ground or loose rocks will call attention to the hazard and increase awareness and attentiveness. Using reflective tape can also highlight problem areas.
4. Use approved footwear always
In workplaces where floors may be oily or wet or where workers spend considerable time outdoors, prevention of fall incidents should focus on selecting proper footwear. Since there is no footwear with anti-slip properties for every condition, consultation with manufacturers’ is highly recommended.
5. Manage running cable leads
Power, internet and phone cords can often create a sea of obstacles for employees and customers. Try to run cables behind walls or under carpets to keep them hidden. Install power outlets, internet connections and phone jacks in easily-accessible locations to avoid running cables across walkways.
6. Ensure good floor condition
Make sure there are no cracks or holes in building flooring or in the pavement outside. Repair any problem areas immediately and be sure to place warning signs in/on/around areas that need to be fixed.
7. Clean up spills immediately
If you have a spill, clean it up immediately. If allowed to penetrate the floor surface, some substances can actually create a more slippery surface even after cleanup. When a spill occurs, immediately place warning signs around the hazard and then tackle the cleanup process.
Read Also: 13 Types of accidents in the workplace