March 2008 Safety Tip

Slips, Trips, & Falls

Did you know that after traffic accidents, more people are killed in falls than any other kind of accident? According to the National Safety Council, over 14,000 persons die from falls, both at home and on the job.

Millions of people are injured every year, and costs can be extremely high.

Here are a few things to help you prevent slips, trips and falls.

Slips: look out for these walking hazards.

  • Hidden, or un-obvious steps
  • Smooth surfaces such as waxed floors
  • Loose flooring such as bricks, tile or floorboards
  • Carpeting and rugs without anti-slip mats
  • Tubs and showers
  • Wet floors
  • Icy spots
  • Oil and grease
  • Look out for that hose!
  • Use caution when climbing over objects!

Trips: good housekeeping is a safe habit.

  • Avoid placement of furniture or other large items in high traffic areas
  • Avoid storage of materials in walk areas
  • Donít use electrical cords in walking areas
  • Clean-up untidy floors and stairs, including toys, tools, even pencils
  • Close all open drawers
  • Keep your walking area clean.

Falls: safe work habits prevent them.

Have sufficient lighting

  • Donít improvise materials for a step ladder
  • Sit squarely on all legs of a chair
  • Donít have long pant cuffs
  • Keep stair treads in good repair
  • Wear good shoes
  • Donít carry more than you can handle and balance
  • Donít jump down from trucks, platforms and docks

You can also help prevent injuries to others by:

  • using signs to mark wet or slippery surfaces and areas
  • mop only when traffic is light, or a small area at a time
  • identify work areas that have slip and/or trip hazards
  • use entrance runners properly
  • report unsafe conditions
  • practicing a safety attitude, including
    • pacing yourself
    • looking ahead
    • following rules
    • taking care
    • using appropriate equipment
    • not taking chances
    • being alert and expecting the unexpected

And if you do fall, you can reduce your chances of injury by falling Ďthe right wayí

  • Relax and try not to tense and stiffen your muscles
  • Absorb the impact from the fall with your arms and legs
  • Roll in the direction of the fall

Remember, fall prevention is up to YOU!