For the final week of National Safety Month, we’re discussing slips, trips, and falls. If you’ve followed along the Emergent Safety journey, you know we have developed innovative products to eliminate trips and falls on construction sites. To learn more about our complete solution to eliminating conduit stub-ups and their associated hazards, click here.
Safety in the workplace includes keeping workers and customers safe from slips, trips and falls. Contrary to what you may think, this doesn’t just mean preventing falls from ladders and other heights. Statistics show only 30% of workplace falls happen from heights. The majority occur on level ground.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor injuries from slips, trips, and falls are the second-highest cause of missed work.
Thankfully, many of these injuries can be prevented with some simple precautions. Much of the prevention against slips and trips is a matter of simple housekeeping.
Slips are caused by too little traction between your footwear and the surface you’re walking on. This can be caused by
- Inclement weather (rain, sleet, or snow)
- Floors with different degrees of traction
- Liquids spilled on the floor
Trips, on the other hand, happen when you hit your foot against something that causes you to lose your balance. This can be caused by
- Loose rugs
- Clutter on the floor
- Cables on the floor
- Open drawers
- Uneven floors or other surfaces (include sidewalks that are not level)
- Poor lighting
There are some simple precautions companies can take to keep their staff and customers safe from slips and falls in the workplace.
First of all, for workers, footwear matters. Not only can proper footwear help ward off fatigue and back pain, but non-skid soles can help prevent slips. Employees should choose supportive, comfortable footwear with good traction for maximum safety.
Next, practicing good housekeeping habits can help prevent slips and trips. These habits include
- Cleaning up spills as soon as they happen
- Shoveling snow and salting icy areas promptly in cold weather
- Putting away supplies and clutter
- Sweeping up debris regularly
- Keeping the workplace well lit
- Closing all drawers when not in use,
- Securing rugs that don’t lay smoothly
Finally, making sure areas with foot traffic are level and consistent will help prevent tripping in the workplace too. This includes visibly marking or leveling door thresholds, spots with uneven flooring, and construction sites with protruding pipes or conduit.
Slips, trips, and falls may be common causes of injuries in the workplace, but the good news is, they are preventable. Talk to your Emergent Safety Specialist to determine best ways to eliminate slips, trips, and falls at your place of work.