Slip trip fall hazards occur when there is no or too little friction or traction on a walking surface, when a foot strikes an object while the rest of the body continues to move, or when the centre of balance is lost resulting in a fall to the ground, against an object or a surface at a lower level than the original surface. These incidents are often caused by slippery, uneven surfaces, floor obstacles, or uncovered/unidentified hazard areas.
slip trip fall hazards are among the most cited by OSHA on its list of top 10 violations. In 2015 alone, slip trip fall hazards were linked to 3 of the top 10 violations. These violations included hazards related to fall protection of scaffolding and ladders. Today in this blog we will explain tools and resources to help you learn ways to prevent slips, trips, and falls in your workplace.
how to prevent slip trip fall hazards in the workplace
If you didn’t believe slip, trip and fall prevention is important, you wouldn’t be reading this. Despite all our efforts, accidents do happen. In the event of slip trip fall hazards at your workplace, you need a plan that enables everyone to act quickly and efficiently.
You already know very well what a failure in your safety program is. We will guide you through the elements that must be considered when working to have an area of safer and more compliant work by preventing slip trip fall hazards.
Now, we’ll outline each step you can take to prevent slip trip fall hazards.
- Evaluate the work area.
- Know the cause of slip trips and fall
- Provide traction on slippery surfaces
- Provide barricades and signage on slippery surfaces to warn of temporary risks.
- Improve stair safety.
- Inspect scaffolds and ladders.
- Control and clean up oil and spills.
- Train employees.
- Make a slip trip fall hazards Response Plan
- Identify ways to avoid the accident in the future
Evaluate your work area
Know your work area:
Effective workplace safety starts with knowing your workplace and knowing the steps to take to improve working conditions. Take the time to evaluate your plant or workplace and look for past incidents of slip trip fall hazards by type and location.
This will help you discover areas of issue. Keep your workplace clean and tidy. Remember that a clean and tidy plant is a safe plant. With this in mind, review your cleaning process and determine if certain areas need special attention.
Not sure where to start when you need to assess your workplace? If you need to know how to prevent slip trip fall hazards on your plant, you must first know where and why commonly occur. Start from the laydown yard.
Check proper material stacking, barricade and clear access. They go to the fabrication shop where you check the clear access, adequate lighting, hose and cable management etc.
Know the cause of slip trips and fall
All areas that could potentially cause slip trip fall hazards are near machines, in the area of rest shelter, in a cluttered hallway, or even in the parking lot. Take a look at this list of dangerous potentials:
- Overspray from a wet process
- A spill from a drum or container
- Wet floor from a recent cleaning
- Leaks and condensation from pipes or roof
- Uneven flooring/unexpected steps
- Leaks or drips around machines
- Liquid spilt on the stairs
- Leakage from a trash can
- Leaks around the sink after washing hands
- Spilt on the floor
- An object or tool misplaced on the floor
- Wet shoes on a slippery surface after walking in the rain
- Cables and hoses are not properly arranged
- Unsafe scaffolding or ladders
- Poor lighting makes it impossible to see tripping hazards
A person takes an average of 8,000 steps in a day. But it only takes 1 step to cause serious injury. It is very easy to have an accident in the workplace, especially when proper precautions are not taken.
Of course, we can all make mistakes, but let’s look at some of the mistakes most common, now that you have an idea of the areas in your work where there can be a risk of slipping, tripping or falling:
- Failure to provide adequate warning signage of slip trip fall hazards
- Ineffective maintenance of floor (uneven or slippery)
- Inadequate training about risks in the work area employee errors
- Not cleaning up a spill or mess right away
- Not being aware of their surroundings
- Leaving tools or objects in common access
- Wearing inappropriate footwear for the work environment
Provide traction on slippery surfaces
Keeping your feet firmly on the ground means traction. Effective and that the correct measures are being taken to eliminate slippery surfaces. To avoid accidents make sure to:
- Keep floors clean and dry where possible.
- Stairs, landing zones, and areas at risk of slips have non-slip tape or have material that resists grease and oil.
- Appropriate flooring materials are used in areas based on slip hazards. This means using mats, absorbent pads and non-slip flooring when needed.
Provide barricade and signage on slip, trip and falls surfaces to warn of the risk
By For example, if a leaking machine presents a slip hazard, obtain the appropriate absorbent materials and place warning signs to keep the location clean and draw attention to the risk. Provide warnings signage, hard barricade and make area visible where hazards are identified of created opening.
Improve stairs safety
Because the stairs are one of the most common areas in a workplace for slip trip fall hazards, it needs to take additional measures to keep safe the stairs. This means:
- All steps must be reasonably non-slip
- The front of the steps must have a finish anti-slip.
- Non-slip strips are used to mark stairs and improve safety
- Stairs are kept clean and dry
Inspect scaffolds and ladders
While 60% of accidents occur on surfaces at the same level, 40% occur at elevations. With these statistics in mind, the next step in keeping your area safe work practice is to inspect the elevated working platform:
Set a standard in your workplace for performing Periodic inspections of ladders and scaffolding to detect damage and wear. This should include the use of inspection tags to mark dates of inspection and the authorized employee who carried it out, as well as the due date of the next inspection
Control and clean up oil and spills
While keeping floors clean and dry is essential to prevent slipping, there is no denying that leaks and spills are common incidents in work areas. When you have a cleaning machine or equipment, needs a process to detect, assess, and correct immediate all kinds of spills. Having the right absorbent on hand can help you deal with that spill quickly and effectively.
The product’s Absorbents include rugs and kits designed to cover the different durability, absorbency and size needs for potential leaks and spills in the workplace.
Employee training is an essential element to establish an effective program for the prevention of slips, trips and falls. They need to be aware of and know why slips, trips and falls occur, how they can be avoided and how to react when it happens.
By providing employees with the tools, training and support they need to prevent and react appropriately and effectively against slip trip fall hazards. You’ll be taking the correct steps to prevent accidents for employees.
Make a Slip, Trip and falls Response Plan
When the safety of your employees is in your hands, you need to make sure you have an effective health and safety policy to help prevent slip trip fall hazards. Don’t wait for accidents to happen.
In case of slip trip fall hazards, everyone must be prepared to react quickly and effectively. When planning the prevention of the possibility of an incident due to slip trip fall hazards, keep these three tips in mind:
- First of all, provide help. This means immediately checking with the person who suffered the slip trip fall hazards to help determine the severity, provide first aid and look for medical assistance when necessary.
- Report the incident to the right person within your workplace. From there, you must register with an incident report as soon as possible. These reports must be recorded and kept for review in incident areas common and must be provided to your company insurance.
- Identify ways to avoid the accident in the future. This is when you need to identify training, audit, inspection, planning and improvements that need to be made to ensure future safety.
Identify ways to avoid the accident in the future
Slips, trips and falls are dangerous and costly incidents in the workplace and can be avoided. There are currently some industry standards in force that are applicable for these events: OSHA 29 CFR 1910.22 – Walking/Working Surfaces. This standard supports worker safety by keeping clean workplaces safe from hazards.
- Keep plants clean, neat and dry.
- Provide drainage, platforms, mats or other dry places to stand when wet processes are used.
- Maintain floors and work areas free of protruding nails, chips, holes and loose boards.
- Keep access clear and in good condition.
- Mark aisles permanently.
- Use covering or railings to protect workers from pits, tanks, open tubs, etc.
OSHA 29 CFR 1910.36 & 37 – Egress Routes, this standard is in support of exit route safety
Some of the key elements that apply to slip trip fall hazards in this standard include:
- The exit route to the outside must have handrails to protect open sides if there is a danger of fall
- The exit route to the outside must be reasonably straight and must have smooth, solid and substantially level.
- The exit route to the outside must be covered if likely snow or ice buildup along the route unless the employer can prove that any accumulation of snow or ice can be removed before it poses a dangerous slip.
Chapter 1 / 5 ANSI A1264.1, this standard establishes provisions to protect the people where there is a potential for slips and falls as a result of surface characteristics or conditions. Requires:
- Evaluation of the use of footwear slip resistant to maximize traction.
- That mats and rails be used in areas where people can find contaminants slippery surfaces or foreign materials on the floor surface.
- A maintenance program including procedures for proper cleaning and maintenance and training of the employees, whatever is implemented to maintain safe walking areas?
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