July 15, 2021

6 Tips to Prevent Trips, Slips, and Falls

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GOALS OF THIS GUIDE

Slips, trips, and falls are one of the leading causes of injury in the workplace. Ranging from mild to more severe, these accidents can be avoided.

“Watch your step! Pay attention to where you’re going!”

It happens to everyone at home, school, work, and play – slips, trips, and falls. It only takes a second of not paying attention to slip on a wet floor, stumble down the stairs, or trip over an object. All of which can lead to a variety of regrettable events, ranging from a simple bruise to a more serious injury resulting in hospitalization.  

Slips, trips, and falls continue to be a leading cause of injuries, especially in the workplace. Nearly one-third of reported injuries result from a slip, trip, or fall. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that these injuries are the second-highest cause of days away from work, resulting in more than 95 million lost work days per year.

In general, these types of accidents occur due to a loss of traction between the foot and walking surface. However, distractions rank high on the list of causes of this type of injury. It’s important to stay focused while in motion, especially a job site.

As an employer, slips, trips, and falls costs nearly $70 billion a year in workers’ compensation claims, regulatory fines, productivity, and other administrative expenses. Organizations that take proper safety precautions can keep workers safe and facilities in compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.

Here are six simple guidelines that can help you create a safer working environment:

  • Create good housekeeping practices: Good housekeeping is critical, as safety and housekeeping go hand in hand. Poor housekeeping habits typically result in a higher rate of employee injuries, increased insurance costs, and regulatory citations. Proper housekeeping is a routine. It is an ongoing procedure that is done as a part of each day. Effective housekeeping typically requires planning ahead, assigning responsibilities, and implementing the program.
  • Keep floors clean and dry: According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), 85% of workers’ compensation claims are attributed to employees slipping on slick floors. Ensure that surfaces are clear of litter and debris and have sufficient traction for movement. Utilize signs, mats, and floor coverings as necessary to alert others of hazards and reduce accidents.
  • Avoid obstacles in walkways: Anything can be considered a trip hazard if it’s on the floor. Equipment, materials, and everyday clutter can easily become a hazard. Work to keep these areas clean and orderly by implementing a policy to continuously check work areas.  
  • Create and maintain proper lighting: Poor lighting in the workplace is associated with an increase in accidents. Use proper lighting in walkways, staircases, ramps, hallways, and construction areas. Be sure to repair and replace damaged lighting immediately.
  • Wear proper footwear: The footwear chosen can play a big part in reducing accidents. The soles should be non-slip with plenty of traction and the type of heel worn should be evaluated to avoid slips, trips, and falls. Properly fitting, comfortable footwear can prevent fatigue which, in turn, improves safety and reduces the risk of accidents.  
  • Improve individual behavior: This may be the most difficult to control as it’s human nature to be distracted, even if momentarily. Ultimately, it’s up to everyone to stay alert and pay attention. However, through proper education and awareness, accidents can be reduced.

It is nearly impossible to prevent every slip, trip, or fall. Accidents can happen anywhere. But, by taking proactive safety steps, many workplace injuries can avoided. One of the best ways to make sure your organization is protected is to bring in the experts. LWCC’s Consultants on Call is available to help assess and remedy issues that can lead to a safer workplace and fewer claims. To conduct a slip, trip, and fall risk assessment, or to find out how else LWCC’s Safety Services can improve the safety for workplace, contact our team today.

LWCC Safety Services

LWCC is committed to a safe and productive work environment. A variety of safety resources are available to our policyholders free of charge including online trainings, educational videos, and more. LWCC policyholders can cultivate a culture of safe driving by reaching out to our experienced team of Consultants on Call for recommendations and assistance.

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