Slips Work Place Wednesdays

Workplace Wednesday-Slips, Trips and Falls

Slips and falls has probably happened to most of us. The momentary lapse of inattentive thinking about a personal problem or distracted by an activity is what ends up in a slip, trip or fall. A stumble down a stairway, a trip over an uneven surface, slipping on the ice and falling from heights, can lead to a variety of regrettable events ranging from a simple bruised shin to an extremely serious injury and even death. Falls are a persistent hazard found in all occupational settings. A fall can occur in simple situations such as walking or climbing a ladder to change a light fixture as well as in  complex series of events. It’s just one of a variety of conditions and situations that set the stage for slips, trips and falls in the workplace.

Common Slip hazards

Common causes include slippery surfaces (e.g., oily or greasy), seasonal trip hazards (rain, snow and ice), spills of wet or dry substances, changes in walkway levels and slopes. Also, poor lighting, debris and items stored in walkways, trailing cables in pedestrian walkways , obscured vision as well as unsuitable footwear often leads to slips and falls.

Prevention Of Slips

The older one gets, the more dangerous the consequences of falling becomes. Personal protective equipment such as appropriate soles and anti-slip boots are very useful. Housekeeping practices includes cleaning spills, removing debris, snow and ice routinely and providing mats at door entrances. Administrative controls also have a place in preventing falls. Workers need to be trained in procedures for cleaning spills and two workers may be needed for transporting large carts that one worker may not see around. Holding of handrails have also proven to be a life saver in cases of slips and falls.

In a nut shell, successful reduction of fall injury and fatality requires continued concerted efforts of regulators and industry leaders, professional associations and labor unions, employers and employees, safety professionals and researchers in enhancing the work environment, implementing new effective fall prevention and protection technologies, and improving the work safety culture through continuous education of the workforce.

 

Useful Links: Health and Safety at Work. CCOHS,  Ontario.ca/healthandsafetyatwork

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