slips trips and falls

How to Prevent Slips Trips and Falls at Work

Published Date October 9, 2020

Statistics show that the majority slips trips and falls happen on the same level when compared to tripping from a height. And often, such unfortunate incidents are avoidable. All you need is a succinct preparation and some ground rules that ensure proper order on the floor. The idea is to have policies and initiatives in place that maintain impeccable hygiene and safety. This article will summarize information about preventing the same at your workplace.

The Principal Causes of Slips Trips and Falls

In the majority of instances, slips and trips occur due to a loss of traction between the shoe and the walking surface. Falls could occur due to inadvertent contact with a fixed or moveable object. Examples of such situations are listed below.

  • Loose rugs or mats
  • Surfaces with differing degrees of traction
  • Wet or moist surfaces
  • Wrinkled carpeting
  • Uncovered cables
  • Open bottom drawers
  • Spills
  • Oily surfaces
  • Obstructed view
  • Poor lighting
  • Clutter
  • Uneven steps or thresholds

Slip, Trip and Fall Prevention

The most dependable way to overcome a challenge is by eliminating the causes of the problem. A few tweaks in arrangement and hiring janitorial services can be a great start to your slip trip and fall prevention measures.

Here are the more detailed steps to take if you want to master how to prevent slip trips and falls at work.

    1. Warnings and Signage

Warning signs with symbols that follow ANSI Z535.3 2007, Criteria for Safety Symbols are a responsible step towards slips trips and falls safety at work. You could also add barricades at appropriate spots and for isolating any processes in hazardous areas.

Remember that signs can be good reminders for nudging employees to pick up and throw away all waste. Of course, the workplace should have sufficient provision of trash containers located close to waste generation points. It helps prevent clutter and spill on the floor, two major causes of slips trips and falls.

    1. Apt Lighting

Proper lighting will help you avoid tripping on objects and other slipping hazards. All floors, alleyways and corners should be well lit for 100% visibility.

    1. Secure Stairways & Handrails

Stairs are a typical area for falls in the workplace. Additional care is often required to reduce the risk of injury. Your stairwells should be clear, well lit, and free from unsecured objects. The following installations are also important:

      • Safe and sturdy handrails
      • Top and bottom stairs marked with reflective tape
      • Removal of unsecured rugs or carpets from the stairs and landings
    1. Reduce Wet or Slippery Surfaces

Walking surfaces account for a significant share of slips trips and falls reported at workplaces. And the most common spots where such trips and falls occur include:

      • Food preparation areas
      • Shower stalls in residential dorms
      • Parking lots
      • Sidewalks
      • Floors in general

Also, traction on outdoor surfaces can change considerably with the changing weather. Those conditions can then affect indoor surfaces because moisture tends to be tracked in by pedestrian traffic. That is why it is imperative to also take care of parking lot hygiene, sidewalk cleanliness, repairs, and so on. A standard, inclusive office cleaning checklist could come handy here. In addition, you can also incorporate the following measures in your workplace safety initiative.

      • Clean up spills immediately.
      • Use moisture-absorbent mats that have beveled edges in entrance areas.
      • Use suitable area rugs or mats for food preparation areas.
      • Display “Wet Floor” signs as needed.
      • Use anti-skid adhesive tape in troublesome areas.
    1. Keep Pathways and Aisles Clear of Obstacles

Another key area to look into when improving slips trips and falls safety measures is clutter. While keeping elevated surfaces like tabletops and counters clean is essential, it is even more important to ensure that all pathways and aisles at the workplace are decluttered at all times. Stray objects lying unattended, poor furniture arrangement, ripped carpets, or even seemingly harmless obstacles in the way can cause accidents and injuries.

Ideally, it is wise to have strict rules about office hygiene and organization. No one likes to come to work when the environment is messy, cluttered, or foul-smelling in any way. If it gets too complicated to handle the same, turning to professional help is a responsible and highly recommended thing to do. Companies specializing in workplace cleaning and janitorial facilities can help you out in more ways than one.