Slips, Trips, & Falls
Watch your Step!
Most injuries resulting from falls aren’t caused by falls from overhead, as you might think. They are from falls at ground or floor level where we walk and work. Injury due to falls is a major problem in industry today. You always hear about the incidents where an employee fell from a great height and lost his or her life. But there are more common fall injuries such as sprains, strains, fractures, cuts/lacerations, punctures, etc. that can require a trip to the doctor’s office. The pain and suffering from a knee or back injury is very real, and a very realistic concern. Falls from one level to another are certainly pose the highest risk physically, but there are a couple of other types of falls that need to be looked at as well.
How many of you have ever fallen down? What were you doing at the time?
There are 4 main categories of falls:
- Slipping – Icy or oily floors and/or sidewalks
- Tripping – Irregular surfaces, cords and/or hoses in walkways
- Collisions – Blind corners in hallways and warehouses, low clearances
- Elevations – Misjudging a step or handhold, over-reaching on ladders etc.
Here are some ways to keep yourself and others from slipping or falling:
- Poor housekeeping is a major cause of slips, trips, and falls. You are responsible for picking up after yourself! Throw away trash and debris throughout the day. Return tools and equipment to their proper storage areas when not in use; don’t leave them laying in walkways.
- Make sure your work shoes are in good condition. Worn soles and heels can create a fall hazard.
- Use caution in blind spots and around heavy material moving equipment.
- Barricade holes, trenches, excavations, floor openings, etc. which people could accidentally walk into or fall into.
- Pay attention to what you’re doing, watch your step, and avoid unnecessary exposure to fall hazards.If you don’t need to be in a hazardous area, or aren’t supposed to be in the area, then leave immediately.