What’s at Stake?
Slip, trip, and fall injuries are one of the most common causes of workplace injuries and death. The falls from slips and trips can lead to disabling injuries, traumatic brain injuries, surgeries, and countless hours in rehab. These types of injuries are painful and costly and can put stress on your relationships, lead to depression, anxiety, and in some cases post-traumatic stress disorder, or PSTD.
What’s the Danger?
You can slip, trip, and fall in all kinds of workplaces, from offices to construction sites.
A thin layer of water on the sidewalk outside work or on scaffold planks can be enough to send you airborne and landing hard on the ground or falling off the scaffold.
Maybe you’re in a hurry and run down a flight of stairs or walk down a hallway or even cross a busy street while looking down at your phone. Don’t be surprised if you run into someone or something, or if something (a vehicle) runs into you!
Falls can also happen when you trip on something – your feet get caught but your body keeps on going.
How to Protect Yourself
Wear it Well
- Don’t wear shoes with loose or damaged soles.
- When you’re working on slippery surfaces or in icy weather make sure you have on shoes with non-slip soles.
Light the Way
- Report burned-out lights and poorly lit areas.
- Something as simple as turning on the lights before you enter a dark area can make a big impact when it comes to reducing slips, trips, and falls.
Keep it Clear
- If you see something in an aisle such as trash, pallets, boxes, cords, cables, or wires pick them up or report them, so the hazard can be fixed.
- Watch for loose or torn carpeting, mats, or runners.
- Don’t store items on or near stairways.
- Watch out for unexpected hazards such as unguarded floor and wall openings. Report unguarded openings immediately so they can be correctly covered and guarded.
- Obey signs such as “Caution: Wet Floor.”
- Clean up spills immediately.
- On slippery or rough surfaces, take small steps and walk slowly.
- When you come indoors from rain or snow, your wet footwear slides more easily.
- Newly waxed and high gloss floors can be super slick.
Walk This Way
- Keep your head up.
- Don’t run or rush.
- Use stairways’ handrails; and
- When carrying a load, make sure you can see over or around it.
- Don’t tip back in a chair.
- Don’t use a chair or desk as a stand-in for ladders.
- Keep desk and filing cabinet drawers closed.
Up in the Air
- Always use the required fall protection equipment and all safe procedures when working at heights.
- Many falls from heights are caused by tripping or slipping.
Awareness and safe work practices can keep you from becoming a slip, trip, and fall statistic.