Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls in The Workplace

slips-trips-fallsAccording to American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) journal article “Slips, Trips & Falls in Construction & Mining: Causes & Controls”, there are for factors that contribute to slips, trips and falls hazards in the workplace. They are workers, machines/equipments, works environment and management.

In addition, OSHA has released the top 10 safety violations for 2009 that placed scaffolding, fall protection and ladder in the list. They are directly connected to sources of slips, trips and falls hazards.

In relation to slips, trips and falls hazards, ASSE suggests some basic tips for preventing slips, trips and falls in the workplace. Here are the tips from ASSE, which were published by

  1. Remove slip, trip, and fall hazards from the work area, especially in high-trafficked areas. Even though workers may be moving at a reasonable pace and keeping their eyes on where they are going, predictable surfaces with good traction help prevent slips, trips and falls. 
  2. Establish a no-running policy. Though in some industries staff may need to work at a quick pace, such as the retail, hospitality and restaurant industry, making sure that workers do not run can prevent injuries and illnesses due to slips and falls. 
  3. Make sure workers wear proper footwear with good traction that is kept in good repair. Take a look at the soles of shoes regularly to check for excessive wear. Slip-resistant footwear should be considered where necessary, such as footwear with spiked or studded soles that can improve traction on ice. 
  4. Cleaning procedures for floors are essential to good slip resistance. Make sure that all walking surfaces are kept free of spills, water, oil and any other substances that may affect the traction of the surface. 
  5. Report any spills and provide adequate signage regarding hazards such as spills, uneven surfaces, debris, icy sidewalks, smooth concrete and other hazards. Also ensure that your company has a process that documents incidents and reports slip and fall hazards. 
  6. Make sure that staff is trained on how to properly clean or remove slip, trip and fall hazards. Also ensure that staff and management are trained in slip, trip and fall prevention. Workers should resume work only after a hazard has been removed or resolved. 
  7. Make sure all areas have adequate lighting to illuminate any potential hazards. 
  8. To prevent surface water accumulation in areas that can lead to slips, trips and falls, ensure that there are adequate drainage systems and pumps in place. 
  9. Be aware of the floor types in your company to help determine the degree of hazards for slips, trips and falls.

At the plant site, you may have identified area where slips, trips and falls hazards exist based on your safety inspection checklist. Then, your next step is to apply the above tips in order to eliminate the hazards. If it is not possible, setting up better hazard controls on that sources.

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