Preventing Slip and Fall Injuries in the Workplace

by Lawton Brothers | Dec 18, 2020

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 5,000 workers in the United States suffered fatal work injuries in 2018. With just a 2% increase since 2017, it is the highest number of fatal work injuries in the past decade. Still, an even larger number of individuals, approximately 2.8 million, suffered nonfatal injuries in 2018. Of these 2.8 million injuries, over 27% occurred due to slips, trips, and falls.

You may be thinking that a slip, trip, or fall is something relatively easy to avoid, and you’d be right! Thankfully, there are a multitude of ways to avoid accidents and prevent missed work that are also relatively cheap.

The Important Difference Between Slips, Trips, & Falls

Slips, trips, and falls can affect anyone in the facility, regardless of responsibilities or title. When clutter and wet conditions are left unchecked, they can cause injury and even death, in serious cases. A slip can occur due to loss of balance or too little friction between your feet and the floor, like when you step into a puddle of water and lose your traction. Slips are more likely to occur when hurrying and not paying attention. This is also true for trips, as they occur when your foot gets caught on an object and you are moving with enough speed to be thrown off balance. In both scenarios, paying attention and moving cautiously is the easiest way to prevent injury.

When it comes to falls, it can be a bit trickier. A fall occurs when you move too far off your center of balance. These incidents account for more workplace fatalities than any other reason. As such, it’s important to identify potential hazards and ways to stay safe.

Tips to Stay Safe

If you see something that could cause a slip or trip, tell a supervisor immediately. When possible, clean up spills and slippery spaces using a clean cloth and an approved cleanser. Be sure to identify the liquid before attempting to clean it and place a caution sign until the mess can be taken care of.

Clear walkways, stairs, and lobbies of any tripping hazards, including cords, empty boxes, and trash. Where possible, minimize clutter and the potential for creating tripping hazards.

When using a ladder, make sure it opens fully, check that all pieces are locked into place, and that you are on a stable (non-slip) surface. Clean off the rungs/steps/feet of the ladder as needed and always check the load limit on the label to prevent mishaps.

Use mats and rugs to limit the dirt and grime that is being tracked through your facility. One or two mats can go a long way in preventing slips and falls, especially during rainier portions of the year.

Call us for a Free Audit!

Lawton Brothers provides targeted audits to ensure your cleaning program is the best it can be. We offer a variety of audits including floor care and matting surveys for free. We even offer training programs for your staff, so you don’t have to add another item to your to-do list. Give us a call today and let us provide a free audit for your facility at: 800.432.0813.

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