Each year many people are injured on the job as a result of slip and fall accidents. Slips, trips & falls together represent one of the most important single causes of injuries at work and at home. They occur for many reasons.
However, Slip & Fall incidents are preventable if we strive to be aware of our surroundings and movements. This is especially vulnerable time given the inclement weather we have been encountering.
- To avoid slips and resulting falls, be on the lookout for foreign substances on the floor. Watch for liquid spills such as water/coffee/other beverages, food, grease, oil, soap or debris. Even small quantities of these substances, sometimes almost too small to see can be slippery.
- When you come into a work area from outdoors in rainy weather, wipe your shoes thoroughly on a doormat, not just to keep the floor clean, but to prevent the wetness of your shoes from making you slip and, perhaps fall. When walking, don’t turn too sharply when changing your direction.
- Stairways are meant for walking, not running. Use handrails especially during inclement weather, and if there is not enough light, please report it. Wear shoes that allow better traction. Stairwells are to be kept uncluttered, with some sort of non-slip coating applied to the steps. Inform your supervisor if you notice a step that is slick. Don’t carry objects up or down steps that may obstruct your view.
- Walk where you are supposed to walk. Don’t take shortcuts; especially don’t take shortcuts through areas where its obvious pedestrian traffic is not intended to go.
- Always try and wear the best non-skid shoe possible, especially paying attention to bad weather. Shoes that have worn, smooth soles should not be worn. Avoid high heals during inclement weather. Select something that has a large surface area, which has good traction.
- Being alert is one of the surest ways to reduce injuries caused by slips and falls. This includes being aware of your environment, personal safety, and the safety of co-workers. Be safety-conscious.
Watching someone take a tumble can sometimes brings a chuckle from an onlooker; however a fall is no laughing matter when you look at the possible consequences. The causes of fall injuries are varied, but can be grouped into some common categories:
- Not focusing on walk path surface changes
- Carrying vision-blocking loads
- Not using the handrail
- Improper footwear
- Inattention or haste
- Debris or foreign substance on the walking surface
- Using an unsafe step stool
Please keep these safety strategies in mind to make each step a safe step:
- Use the handrail; always have one hand free to hold onto a handrail.
- Check stairs for worn or loose carpeting and report them to the Facilities Work Request Center (x6274).
- Keep stairways and walking surfaces clean and clear of storage.
- Beware of single steps. Small changes in levels can be unsuspecting.
- Be aware of your footwear. Take extra caution on steps when wearing athletic shoes, high heels, open-toe sandals or synthetic socks.
- Don’t carry so much up and down stairs that you can’t see where you are stepping; make several trips with smaller loads instead.
- Use the right step stools to retrieve things overhead; inspect them to assure they are safe to use.
- Promptly clean up spills and debris on walking surfaces or restrict/reroute people around the area.
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