National Safety Week – Slips, Trips, and Falls

Employee exposure to wet floors or spills and clutter can lead to slips, trips, falls, and other possible injuries. Slips, trips, and falls constitute the majority of general industry accidents. They are the number one cause of nonfatal injury, cause 15% of all accidental deaths, and are second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities.

Ways you can keep your employees safe out in the field:

  • Require the use of personal fall arrest equipment.
  • Install and maintain perimeter protection.
  • Cover and secure floor openings and label floor opening covers.
  • Use ladders and scaffolds safely.

o Extend the ladder at least 3 feet above point of support

o Inspect regularly and remove defective ladders from use.

o Never use ladders in horizontal position as scaffolds or work platforms.

o Never use metal ladders near electrical equipment.

o Do not adjust or move the scaffold while in use.

o Protect workers from overhead hazards.

o If a scaffold is higher than 10 feet, use guardrails, midrails and toeboards.

There are several ways you can avoid surface hazards related to floors, walls, holes, stairways, platforms and ladders or scaffolding. Here are a few to consider:

  • Keep floors clean and dry, free of debris, spills, spent materials, and stored materials; always use good housekeeping practices.
  • Provide warning signs for wet floor areas and mark permanent aisles and passageways and keep clear of obstructions.
  • Maintain drainage and provide false floors, platforms, mats, or other dry standing places where practicable, or provide appropriate waterproof footgear.
  • Keep all places clean, orderly, and in a sanitary condition.
  • Provide floor plugs for equipment, so power cords need not run across pathways.
  • Access to exits must remain clear of obstructions at all times.

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In the final post about safety we will discuss office safety.