Guidelines to Prevent Workplace Slips, Trips and Falls
Posted by Dane Ings on
According to the U.S. Department of Labor slips and falls make up the majority of accidents in the workplace. Unfortunately, it only takes a second of not paying attention to fall down a flight of stairs, slip on a wet surface or trip over an object. Injuries from these accidents can range from minor bruises to serious ones requiring medical attention.
Accidents typically happen due to a loss of traction between a walking surface and a shoe or accidental contact with an object. There are a variety of situations that may cause slip, trip and fall accidents. But luckily, there is a solution for every situation, and there is a variety of practical and highly effective safety in the workplace tips to follow.
Effective safety in the workplace tips
- Uneven walking surfaces
Many factors can cause level floor surfaces to become uneven and dangerous, including deterioration and dirt build-up. Uneven surfaces, such as broken and cracked sidewalks and unlevel floors should be fixed immediately, as it can lead to serious trip-and-fall accidents.
- Wet or greasy floors
Wet and greasy surfaces are among the leading causes of personal injuries. They can happen in restrooms, food preparation areas, as well as entryways and exits. Employers need to keep surfaces dry and clean as far as possible and also invest in a quality non-slip coating product designed for floors where wet conditions are often present.
- Dry floors with wood dust or powder
Small particles present on floors can make them more slippery. The texture of wood dust or powder can cause a barrier between the floor and shoe. The dust moves under foot traffic, which can lead to slips.
- Loose flooring, carpeting or mats
When flooring, carpeting and mats are loose, they can easily slip out of place. When this happens, someone can lose their footing and experience a fall that could result in serious injury.
- Missing floor tiles and bricks
Just like uneven surfaces, floors with missing tiles or bricks are very dangerous. Such areas should be marked off-limits until they are fixed.
- Polished or waxed floors
Polished and waxed floors may look great, but they can be very slippery. The residue from polish and wax products creates a barrier between the floor and shoe, which can cause slips.
- Irregular steps and stairs
Many accidents happen on stairs. People can quickly misjudge their step on irregular steps or stairs. Stairs without a handrail can also lead to accidents. Ideally, a handrail should be installed on the right-hand side for descent.
- Sloped walking surfaces
Sloped surfaces are high-risk areas for slip-and-fall accidents. Unlike even floors, slopes pull a person's weight forward, which can lead to shoes slipping. This risk increases in workplaces where people carry products or equipment up or down sloped surfaces.
From electric cords to hardware tools, any clutter in the workplace can be a hazard. Loose objects should always be avoided in any area where people walk.
How to prevent slip, trip and fall accidents
Any work environment, from offices to warehouses, is vulnerable to slips, trips and falls. You must follow best practices to reduce the risks of these accidents.
- Identify hazards
First, you need to survey the workplace for potential hazards. Start by scanning each area to spot visible risks, starting with active work areas, entrances and exits and then other on-site areas.
- Invest in an anti-slip solution
One of the most effective ways to achieve commercial non-slip flooring is to invest in an anti-slip solution. There are a variety of non-slip commercial and non-slip industrial flooring products designed with different types of flooring in mind. Most of these products are highly durable, easy to apply and result in finishes that do not change the appearance of surfaces.
- Reduce the presence of wet conditions
Most floor types become more slippery when wet. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to keep surfaces dry all the time, but certain procedures can be put into place to ensure the presence of moisture is kept to a minimum.
- Use moisture-absorbent mats at entrance and exit areas.
- Use "Wet Floor" signs when needed.
- Clean up spills immediately.
- Avoid obstacles in walkways
Many injuries result from trips caused by obstacles and clutter in corridors, entranceways and stairwells. Good housekeeping in traffic areas is one of the most effective control measures to avoid these types of hazards. This means having practical procedures in place and allowing time for cleaning the area before work commences.
- Offer training
Workers must have proper training and the right equipment and personal protective equipment to complete tasks. No one should ever be allowed to use old or damaged equipment, tools or machinery. A checklist should also be in place to thoroughly check everything before use.
- Create better housekeeping practices
Proper housekeeping is an ongoing procedure or routine that is done as a part of each worker’s daily performance. It can include checking all areas before any work starts and cleaning up work areas before and after every shift.
Create a safer working environment for you and your employees with SlipDoctors
SlipDoctors are specialists when it comes to treating slippery floors. We offer a large range of excellent quality non-slip coatings designed for this purpose. If you are a business owner and want to invest in a commercial non-slip flooring solution, speak to our team. We will work with you to identify the right product for your workplace.