It is an unfortunate fact that slips, trips and falls are a leading cause of unintentional injuries and deaths in every industry. Wet surfaces, spills, snow, ice, rain, loose mats and a number of other hazards often found on jobsites can contribute to these accidents.
There is a high cost for all parties involved when these types of workplace accidents happen at your facility. Businesses may lose productivity and see their insurance premiums increase, while workers may deal with lost wages, out of pocket expenses, pain, disability or even death. Recognizing and controlling these hazards can prevent slip, trip and fall accidents from happening in the first place.
Employers have a responsibility to train employees and educate them about hazards, properly maintain worksites and develop policies and procedures to deal with accidents in the workplace. Proper training can help your employees develop safe habits and empower them to make sound judgements while on the job, ultimately benefiting everyone.
The following list offers a basic starting point to maintaining a safe workplace.
- Establish good housekeeping practices. Keep your workplace organized and clean up as you go. “A place for everything and everything in its place” is a good motto to adopt on your jobsite. Cleaning up as you go can seem like more work, but it’s essential to keeping your workplace safe. Replace cracked or worn floor surfaces and if you see anything in need of repair, fix it.
- Clean up spills and anything slippery immediately. Be sure to have your employees wipe their feet. Tracking oil, grease and dust into the workplace can introduce a hazard. Remind your employees to be aware of their surroundings at all times.
- Avoid creating obstacles. Keep clearly defined walkways. Secure any cords or wires. Do not store materials in the walkways. Clear any clutter from the work areas.
- Keep the work areas well lit, especially at night. Confirm that lighting is distributed evenly in your workplace and your stairs, hallways, exits are all sufficiently lit.
- Require that your employees wear the proper shoes for the job.
Shoes should have slip resistant soles, proper treads and good support. Remind workers to walk, not run. They should also be extra careful while walking on uneven surfaces or carrying objects.
- Always use fall protection for work over 4 ft in general industry and over 6 ft if working in construction. Protect workers by using proper guarding of holes or open areas.
- Provide proper PPE. Fall and respiratory protection, body, eye, face, head, leg and foot, and noise protection are all important and may be required by OSHA depending on the workplace and situation. Gloves to grip railings and ladders will also aid in preventing injuries. PPE is a vital line of defense and can minimize exposure and the damage caused by hazards in the event of an accident. Correct PPE must be chosen based on the hazard and the level of protection needed.
- Encourage “Safety First”. When your company has a culture of safety, workers will feel comfortable alerting supervisors to potential safety issues. Instruct workers if they have any doubts or questions as to safety, stop and notify a supervisor immediately. Workplace safety requires a commitment from everyone.
If you are ready to improve safety at your workplace, call Safety Consulting Specialists. We have been performing work site audits and safety training for a wide variety of industries for over 20 years. Our site audits are thorough, detailed, and can find deficiencies and hazards that might be overlooked by those less experienced in the field. Our safety training will help your employees confidently recognize hazards resulting in a safer workplace for all. We can also assist in developing policies and procedures to prevent slips, trips and falls from happening on your jobsite. Reach out today at 919-417-2139 or send us an email. We would be glad to discuss the ways we can help you maintain a safe workplace.