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Slips, Trips and Falls

By: Ron Parker, STS, CHST


While working on a job site, have you ever walked by debris that could cause a slip, a trip or a fall and ignored the debris thinking that someone else would pick it up?  Job site cleanup is important to prevent slips, trips or falls, yet it is sometimes ignored as if it is unimportant.  Let's discuss some tips that will help prevent slips, trips and falls.


Create Good Housekeeping Practices:

Good housekeeping is critical for a safe workplace.  Safety and housekeeping go hand-in-hand.  If your job site has poor housekeeping habits, this could result in a higher rate of injuries that can drive up insurance costs, and produce citations.  If proper housekeeping is maintained, it would suggest that the overall safety program is effective.


Reduce Wet Or Slippery Surfaces:

Walking and working surfaces can account for many accidents/injuries.  Some of the most frequently types of surfaces where these injuries occur are:

Avoid Creating Obstacles in Aisles and Walkways:

Injuries can result from trips caused by clutter, materials and equipment in aisles, corridors, entrance ways and stairwells.  Proper housekeeping in work and traffic areas is still the most effective way to prevent these hazards.  Having policies and procedures in place is pro-active. 

Create and Maintain Proper Lighting:

Poor lighting in the workplace is associated with increase in injuries.
Use proper lighting in areas that are dark and hard to see.
Keep areas around light switches clear and accessible.
Repair fixtures, switches and cords immediately if they malfunction.


Wear Proper Footwear:

The footwear we wear can play a big part in preventing falls.  Soles that are slick will not give you proper traction needed to prevent a slip which can result in a fall.  Shoelaces need to be the proper length for the type of footwear you wear and need to be properly tied.  Wear appropriate footwear for the task you are doing.


Control Individual Behavior:

Individual behavior is tough to control.  Human nature allows us to become complacent and let our guard down, if only for a minute, thus the possibly of having an accident.  Being constantly aware of the task we are performing and aware of our surroundings will help alleviate accidents.

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