Slips, Trips, and Falls Prevention

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Slips, Trips, and Falls Prevention

Now what could go wrong here?

It’s No Laughing Matter A teacher falls as he walks to the blackboard and a students asks, “Have a good trip?” The jokes are familiar, but slips are no laughing matter. They take a heavy toll on the number of workplace injuries and lost workdays. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls to the same level are one of the most common causes of injuries on the job.

Slips-Trips-Falls (STF) Can occur in any part of the workplace whether inside or outside. May result in serious injuries Significant cost to both the worker and employer Impact To Worker: Impact To Employer: Lost productivity Costs of replacement employee Cost of medical treatment Pain Lost wages Temporary or permanent disability Reduced quality of life Depression

Definitions of Slips, Trips & Falls STF Friction: The resistance encountered when an object (foot) is moved in contact with another (ground). Friction is necessary in order to walk without slipping. When there is too little friction or traction between your feet (footwear) and the walking or working surface, and you lose your balance. When you are too far off your center of balance. Slip Trip When your foot (or lower leg) hits an object and your upper body continues moving, throwing you off balance. Fall When you step down unexpectedly to a lower surface (Misstep) and lose your balance, e.g., stepping off a curb.

Common types of Slips, Trips & Falls Injuries: Sprains & strains Bruises & contusions Fractures Abrasions & lacerations

Commonly affected Body Parts: Knee, Ankle, Foot Wrist, Elbow Back Shoulder Hip Head

What causes slips, trips and falls? Slips can occur when floors or other working surfaces become slippery due to wet or oily processes, floor cleaning, leaks, or from materials and debris left in walkways. Trips can occur due to uneven floor or working surfaces, protruding nails and boards, from stretched carpet or bunched floor mats intended to prevent slipping, from holes or depressions in working surfaces, and from steprisers on stairs that are not uniform in height. Both slips and trips can result in falls. In addition, falls can occur when ladders are not maintained properly, and when stairways and elevated working surfaces are not designed properly.

Many Could Have Been Prevented According to the U. S. Department of Labor, slips, trips, and falls make up the majority of general industry accidents. 8.6 million visits to the emergency room each year in the U.S. are attributed to falls In Fiscal Year 2011-12, approximately 1400 employee workers’ compensation claims were attributed to slips, trips or falls which cost nearly 10 million

Report and Investigate The incidence of slips, trips and falls at work may be even higher than the numbers show. Many workers do not report incidents because they may be minor and make them appear clumsy. This is a mistake. Minor incidents that are reported may be clues to troublesome areas needing repairs, and may help prevent a major incident from occurring.

Factors Increasing the Risk Not Paying Attention Clutter Look familiar?

Safety Reminders Supervisors should stress these simple safety reminders: If you drop it, pick it up. If you spill it, wipe it up. Go where you are looking, and look where you are going.

Take Control of Your Environment To further reduce the risk of falls, employees should ensure that: Aisles are clear Floors are clean Signs are present to warn of slippery areas They wear shoes with good support and slip resistant soles Cabinets and drawers are closed Guests get the assistance they need Never stand on a chair, table or surface with wheels

OSHA Regulations General Requirements Housekeeping §1910.22(a) – Workplaces shall be kept clean, orderly, and sanitary. – Workroom floors shall be maintained as clean and dry as possible. – Every floor, working place and passageway shall be kept free from protruding nails, splinters, holes, or loose boards.

Housekeeping Close file cabinet or storage drawers Report cables/wires that cross walkway Keep working areas and walkways well lit and clear Report burned out bulbs Be aware of your surroundings and correct any perceived hazard

Housekeeping DON’Ts DON’T Prop fire doors open. Store materials in stairwells. Store trash cans in front of doorway. Use chair to block an emergency cut-off valve. Place chairs in dangerous areas. For example, the chair in the picture could represent a struck against hazard. DO CORRECT or REPORT these HAZARDS!

OSHA General Requirements §1910.22(b) Aisles and passageways – Aisles and passageways shall be kept clear and in good repair. – Permanent aisles and passageways shall be marked. – Where mechanical handling equipment is used, aisles, loading docks, and doorways shall maintain sufficient safe clearances.

Sidewalks and Crosswalks Report these dangers

Slips on Ice Snow and ice are not common in Los Angeles but it does happen occasionally. Be aware of slippery areas surfaces outdoors in parking lots and walkways

Slips on Ice Use appropriate footwear - In icy weather, ladies should leave the heels at home. Ideally, wear boots or shoes with a good grip and strong soles. Shoes with built-in support at the ankles will protect you from potential ankle injuries should you fall. Use special care when entering and exiting vehicles; vehicles use the vehicle for support. Walk in designated walkways as much as possible. Taking shortcuts over snow piles and other frozen areas can be hazardous. Look ahead when you walk; walk a snow- or ice covered sidewalk or driveway, may require travel along its grassy edge for traction.

Slip, Trip and Fall Hazard PROBLEM: Slip: Slip if it is wet outside and the mat is folded back, then the floor is getting wet instead of the mat absorbing the water. Trip: Trip the mat is folded back and someone could catch their foot on the mat and trip. Fall: Fall both a wet floor and caught foot could contribute to a fall. CORRECT this HAZARD!

Working Safely on Ladders Choose the appropriate ladder for the job Place the base on a firm, solid surface Face the ladder and grip the rungs, not the side rails when you climb Always keep 3 points of contact with the ladder (2 hands, 1 foot or 2 feet, 1 hand)

The Don’t of Ladders Safety Do not climb with tools in hand Do not lean or overreach. Reposition the ladder closer to the work instead. Do not step on the top rung

Resources Office of Environmental Health and Safety or Phone 213-241-3199 American National Standards Institute OSHA NIOSH

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