Slip, trips and falls are preventable if employees recognize the elements that create these hazards.
Slips are usually caused by too little friction or traction between your feet and the walking/working surface which causes you to lose your balance. Slips often result from wet or oily surfaces, spills, weather hazards, walking/working surfaces that do not have the same degree of traction, or loose or unanchored materials.
Trips happen when your foot or leg hits an object and your momentum throws you off balance. Trips often result from obstructed view, poor lighting, poor housekeeping, uneven walking surfaces or cords and hoses running through walkways.
Slips and trips often result in falls, but there are also many other ways you can fall. The following is a list of measures that need to be taken to prevent these types of incidents:
- Walkways must be kept clear and free of debris, cords and equipment.
- Do not take inappropriate shortcuts.
- Unnecessary hurrying, horseplay or other distracting activities may lead to slips, trips and falls.
- Pay attention to what you are doing and others around you.
- Set up ladders properly and make sure hand, shoes and rungs aren’t slippery.
- Do not use stepladders as straight ladders. Maintain three points of contact while climbing ladders.
- Use retractable lanyards when climbing scaffold ladders above 6 feet.
- Always use handrails when walking down stairs.
- Maintain an unobstructed view ahead of you when carrying materials. If need get help when carrying bulky or heavy loads.
- Maintain adequate lighting in work areas and walkways.
- Never jump when climbing down from trucks, scaffold, ladder, lifts or platforms. Use three points of contact and carefully lower yourself down.
- Wear shoes suitable for the conditions you are working in. The soles of your shoes increase the amount of friction between your shoes and walking/working surface.
- Do not step on objects in your walking path. Go around them or move them. You never know when the object will give or what is underneath it that may cause you to lose your balance.
- Never walk backward on roofs or elevated surfaces.
- Report unsafe conditions or acts immediately, including loose handrails, steps, ladders.
- Be extra caution in wet conditions. Watch for ice in your work area. Do not walk on it, use ice melt or work in another area that is ice-free.
- Use extra caution when entering or exiting buildings, surfaces may have different degrees of traction.
- Always inspect steps leading to scissor lift and maintain three points of contact when entering and exiting.