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10 step guideline to prevent slips, trips, and falls in the workplace

Incident: An employee when walking into work slipped and fell and required treatment beyond first aid. No specific hazards in the area caused the fall.

Many workers are injured annually due to falls on walking and working surfaces.  These injuries account for a significant percentage of lost-time injuries.  Not only are slips, trips, and falls an economical loss,they also account for a lot of pain and suffering and sometimes even death.

The following 10 step guideline will help in preventing slips, trips, and falls in the workplace:

  1. Train your employees: Educate employees on why slips, trips, and falls occur and teach them how to look for hazards.
  1. Control and clean spills: Be sure your facility is stocked with the proper amount of absorbent pads. Monitor and change absorbent mats in a timely matter as they become saturated.
  1. Post safety signage and labeling: Identify areas where there is a general need for instructions and suggestions to maintain safety. For example, install “Caution-Slippery Floor” signs to warn of wet surfaces, or “Watch your step” signs to indicate uneven floors.
  1. Inspect scaffolds and ladders: Inspect your scaffolds and ladders frequently for damage, faults and wear, and use scaffolding tags and inspection tags to mark inspection dates.
  1. Warn of temporary hazards: Short-term hazards due to maintenance and housekeeping should be marked with cautionary floor stands, barricade tape and warning posts and chains.
  1. Mark emergency evacuation routes: Exits must be clearly visible and be marked with a sign reading “exit.” Use glow-in-the-dark exit signs, anti-skid tapes and mark emergency evacuation routes.
  1. Provide traction on slippery surfaces: Keep floors clean and dry where possible. To prevent injuries, make sure your stairs and landing areas are marked with anti-skid floor tape that withstands grease and oil.
  1. Improve safety on stairs: To improve safety on stairs, make sure your stairs are marked with anti-skid cleats.  All treads be reasonably slip-resistant and the stair nosings should be of non-slip finish.
  1. Mark aisles and passageways: Use heavy-duty, highly visible warning tape and floor tape to mark any uneven floor surfaces, and mark proper locations for tools and equipment storage areas to keep them from becoming obstacles in aisles and walkways.
  1. Assess your slips, trips, and falls need: Take a look at your past slips/trip/fall incidents by type and location to uncover trends, commonalities and causes.

Consider this example as you complete today's work activities and think about the hazards associated with your particular work, and the steps that can be taken to increase safety on your job.

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