According to statistics gathered by the National Safety Council, workplace injuries reveal that slips and falls rank second in terms of occurrence. Employees, on average, miss around 13 days of work annually due to accidents associated with these incidents.
The initial step towards averting slips, trips, and falls at your workplace involves conducting a risk assessment and formulating a prevention plan. This procedure should encompass identifying potential triggers for such incidents and devising safety strategies to avert them.
Strategies to Prevent Slips, Trips, and Falls:
Implementing uncomplicated measures can significantly decrease the risk of slips, trips, and falls. For instance, you can reduce water spills by using mats, eliminate clutter and debris, and stay vigilant to any environmental changes.
Developing a Comprehensive Risk Inspection Plan:
Establishing a risk assessment program is crucial in mitigating slips, trips, and falls. Thoroughly inspect your business premises to detect potential hazards and subsequently introduce safety protocols to prevent them. The assistance of an OSHA walking surface checklist can facilitate this process. Regular risk assessments should be conducted, either annually or more frequently if your company undergoes changes.
Installing Safety Indicators for Hazardous Areas:
To prevent falls on stairs, utilize non-slip stair treads equipped with a permanent, abrasive polyurethane coating. Incorporating lightweight, bolt-on tread covers can also serve this purpose. Such measures are equally effective outdoors, where items like diamond plates, bar gratings, and grip treads enhance safety around stairs.
Maintaining Dry and Organized Surfaces:
Practicing effective housekeeping is vital to avoid workplace slips and falls. Floors covered in water, debris, or dust possess diminished traction compared to clean, dry surfaces, making them more accident-prone. Swiftly cleaning spills as they occur adds an extra layer of protection against such accidents. Similarly, outdoor walkways should be properly maintained to prevent hazards, especially during conditions like wet leaves and snow.
Utilizing Warning Signs, Tags, and Color Codes:
Visual cues, such as floor tape, can effectively guide workers around danger zones. Reflective floor tape is valuable in low-light settings, while non-skid floor tape enhances visibility in marked areas. Warning signs should be employed to alert workers about wet floors, uneven surfaces, and other potential hazards.
Clearing walkways of obstructions, ensuring unobstructed pathways, and maintaining clutter-free floors can significantly mitigate the risk of slips and falls.
Ensuring Adequate Lighting:
Well-illuminated workspaces, both day and night, are essential for reducing accident risks. Adequate lighting in hallways, walkways, and work areas enhances visibility and curbs workplace accidents. Reflective floor tapes can be especially beneficial in dimly lit areas.
Implementing Footwear Regulations:
Enforcing a dress code that mandates appropriate footwear is essential. Slip-resistant shoes are especially important for employees working near slippery surfaces or in kitchens.
Repairing Damaged Walkways:
Promptly addressing uneven surfaces or walkway damage is crucial to preventing accidents.
Installing handrails on staircases, balconies, and elevated floors promotes safety by offering support and balance.
Promoting Safe Access to Heights:
Proper stairways and alternatives, like alternating tread stairs, should replace ladders to minimize falling risks.
Taking Extra Precautions for Work at Heights:
When working at height, taking precautions to prevent falls is paramount. Ensuring surfaces are level and obstacles are removed reduces the risk of tripping. Additionally, maintaining well-organized cables, wires, and equipment minimizes hazards.
Understanding the Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents:
Slips and trips can both lead to falls, with slips occurring when balance is lost without contacting an object, and trips happening when objects obstruct movement.
The Responsibility of Workplace Management:
Workplace management holds accountability for slip, trip, and fall prevention, which can avoid serious injuries and substantial costs associated with healthcare and productivity losses.
Implementing a Slip and Fall Prevention Index:
Effective prevention doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. Simple measures, like maintaining clean and dry floors, removing obstacles, ensuring proper lighting, repairing uneven surfaces, and reducing ladder usage, can significantly enhance workplace safety.
Preventing slips, trips, and falls is a collective effort that involves implementing safety measures to protect workers. A safer workplace not only prevents injuries but also reduces financial burdens associated with accidents. RAAH Group INC offers a range of safety equipment and solutions to enhance workplace safety and prevent slips, trips, and falls. Contact them for assistance in assessing and upgrading your workplace safety protocols.