Due to momentary lapses of inattention while thinking about a personal problem or distracted by an activity, everybody ends up in a slip, trip or fall. Whether the falls are from height or the same-level falls, such as Slip and fall accidents.They are costly and are happening throughout the year. But it is a fact that slips and falls are occurring frequently during fall and winter. As a rule, the OSHA and other safety authorities frequently issue reminders about these dangers are giving out the best practices to include diligent housekeeping and better lighting.
Statistics in the U.S. Department of Labor showed that slips, trips and falls composed the majority of general industry accidents, accounting for the following:
- Slip and falls account to 15 % of all accidental deaths annually and second only to accidents by motor vehicles;
- Slips, trips and falls make up 25 % of all reported injury claims per fiscal year;
- Victims of slips, trips and falls cause more than 95 million working days lost per year – that is about 65 % of all work days lost; and
- The total cost of unintentional slips, trips, and falls in the United States cost nearly $80 billion a year.
These guidelines are provided for both employees and employers to create a safer working environment:.
- Encourage everyone to practice good housekeeping as safety and good housekeeping go hand-in-hand. Facilities with poor housekeeping result in high incidence of injuries that means more insurance costs and citations from authorities. It is only when a company is well-organized and clean that an over-all safety program will succeed.
- Be on the alert for wet and slippery surfaces. Significant number of injuries happened due to the poor condition of walking areas. Most places which are often wet and slippery and where many accidents occurred are: parking lots, food preparations areas, restaurant floors, shower stalls in dorms, floor areas in general and lack of sidewalks. Bear in mind that the floor traction changes with the weather. Constantly monitor floor traction for their effectiveness.
- Keep all aisles, walkways, corridors, entranceways and stairways clear from obstacles, and clutter materials. Observing proper housekeeping in work and traffic areas will go a long way in preventing these types of hazards. Management must lay down policies or procedures allowing time for cleaning the area, especially where there are scrap material of the work operation. Go over the condition of work areas, passageways, storerooms and service areas to keep them clean and orderly. Get rid of stringing cords, cables or air hoses across hallways or along working aisle. Avoid leaving briefcases, boxes and files on floors. Let everyone develop the habit of closing file cabinet drawers after use and picking up loose items from the floor. Periodic inspection of slip and fall hazard is an ideal practice.
- Use only proper lighting especially in walkways, staircases, ramps, hallways, basements, construction areas and dock areas. All working areas must be well lit and clean. Switch on the light before entering a dark room.
- Use the proper type of footwear as the type of shoes play a big part in preventing falls. Look at the slickness of the soles and the type of heels. Be sure to tie shoelaces correctly. Workers are required to wear shoes appropriate for the duties of their work task.
- The human factor involves the duty of each individual to be always on the alert and conscious of wanting to keep safe. These factors account for many cases of slip or fall – distracted by random thoughts, performing multiple activities, walking too fast or running, talking shortcuts, not watching where you are going, talking to the mobile, carrying materials which cover one’s vision, wearing sunglasses in darkened area, not walking on proper walkways, and lots of others.
Your safety lies on your hands – plan, be alert and pay attention..