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Caution: Don’t Fall Victim to a Same Level Slip, Trip or Fall

Caution:  Don’t Fall Victim to a Same Level Slip, Trip or Fall  

An individual was exiting a building after completion of their daily work activities, and were proceeding to walk down a sidewalk when they tripped and fell.  The individual stubbed their right foot on an uneven section of concrete (approximately ¾ of an inch difference).  When the employee fell, they landed on and broke the right hip.  The employee had surgery to repair the hip and is still waiting to be released by their physician to be able to return to work.

Factors to consider at your site and/or project include, but not limited to the following:

  • Always keep your eyes on your walking path.
  • Ensure appropriate footwear for varying work environments.
  • Provide adequate lighting to help a worker see a potential slick or problem area.
  • Minimize sudden movement when walking from light to dark areas.  The change in the amount of illumination can be troublesome.
  • Promote good housekeeping.  One method is to use the painting of yellow striping to identify working and walking areas and maintain the walking areas free of obstructions at all times.
  • Avoid use of sunglasses or tinted safety lenses in low light areas.
  • Avoid sudden, rapid changes in direction when walking.
  • Walk at an appropriate pace for the physical environment.  Slower in slippery areas and areas with uneven terrain.  Avoid running.
  • Once a problem area is identified (uneven section of concrete in this example) is identified, properly barricade the area to prevent unwanted traffic.
  • Fix identified problem areas immediately.
  • Use safety signs to remind people of slip, trip and fall hazards.  These are generally helpful, particularly where hazards cannot be removed or corrected.  Such signs should be changed frequently.
  • Do not carry oversize objects that can obstruct vision and result in a slip or trip.  Carry smaller or lighter loads and make more trips, or obtain help with the load.

 How to Minimize Injury in a Same Level Fall:

  • Tuck your chin in, turn your head and throw an arm out.  It is advisable to land on an arm than on your head.
  • While falling, twist or roll your body to the side.  It is better to land on your buttocks and side than on your back.
  • Keep your wrists, elbows, and knees bent.  Do not try to break the fall with your hands or elbows.  When falling, the objective is to have as many square inches of your body contact the surface as possible, thus, spreading the impact of the fall.

 

Consider this example as you complete today’s work activities.

Safety Flash Action Items:
  • Date Contractor Safety Flash posted for all employees to review: _______________
  • Safety Talk meeting date: _______________
  • Full employee attendance and participation at safety meeting to review this incident (documentation required).
  • Employees understand urgency in protecting themselves and others.
  • Supervisors and Employees are clear which items shared in this Safety Flash are mandatory.
  • Employees/Supervisors will focus on recommended actions during future work activities of a similar nature.
Contract Firm Management Rep Signature____________________
Date____________

THINK about the hazards associated with your particular work, and the steps that can be taken to increase safety on your job.

If you have questions about this Safety Flash, or would like additional information, please contact Safety Management Group at 765-832-4641.

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