Did you know slips, trips and falls (STFs) are the leading cause of general workplace accidents and injuries? Employee injuries range from minor bruises to severe traumas such as head injuries, broken bones, sprains and lacerations. In fact, STFs are often reported as the most common causes of workers’ compensation claims.
A comprehensive checklist to prevent STFs
- Use slip-resistant footwear.
- Clean up floors and working surfaces promptly when they become wet.
- Provide warning signs for wet floor areas.
- Practice safe housekeeping procedures, such as cleaning only one side of a passageway at a time.
- Where there are wet or oily processes, maintain drainage, platforms, nonslip mats or floor surfaces, or other dry standing areas. Use no-skid waxes and surfaces coated with grit to create nonslip surfaces in slippery areas such as toilet and shower areas.
- Make sure that floor drains, pits and other floor opening are covered or secured by guardrails.
- Provide floor plugs for equipment, so power cords don’t obstruct pathways. Temporary electrical cords that must cross aisles should be taped or anchored to the floor.
- Aisles and passageways should be sufficiently wide for easy movement and kept clear at all times.
- Re-lay or stretch carpets that bulge or bunch.
- Eliminate cluttered or obstructed work areas and keep file cabinet drawers closed.
- Provide good lighting for all halls and stairwells, especially during night hours.
- Ensure stairs have proper handrails, that treads and risers are maintained and that treads have a slip-resistant surface.
- Instruct workers to use stair handrails, avoid undue speed and maintain a clear view ahead; encourage employees to request help moving bulky loads.
- Eliminate uneven floor surfaces.
- Make sure elevated storage and work surfaces have guardrails, toe boards and a safe means of access.
- Use only properly maintained ladders with uniformly spaced rungs and nonslip safety feet to reach items. Do not use stools, chairs or boxes as substitutes for ladders.
- Train employees to safely use ladders.
Pinnacol and other resources
For information, standards and training that can help prevent STFs, visit the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and National Safety Council websites. Also, check out the two-minute video, posters, checklists and other support available at Pinnacol.com. Or call Pinnacol’s Safety On Call hotline at 303.361.4700 or 888.501.4752. Our safety services team stands ready to answer questions and help keep your workforce on sure footing.