How To Prevent Workplace Slips and Falls

Matthew Banchero | Jan 11, 2023 | minute read

How To prevent Workplace Slips and FallsThe most common reasons for time lost at work are trips, slips, and falls. More often than any other regulation, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued citations for infractions of the Fall Protection Standards. According to OSHA, here are a few interesting facts regarding slips and fall claims.

  • About twenty-five percent of all reported injury claims per fiscal year are related to slips and falls.
  • Seventeen percent of all accidental work deaths are slip and fall related, only second to auto accidents. 
  • More than 95 million lost workdays per year – about 65 percent of all workdays lost.

Common Causes of Slips and Falls

Slips and falls occur when there is insufficient grip or friction between the footwear and the ground during walking. Common reasons for slips include:

  • Greasy or wet surfaces
  • Sporadic spills
  • Weather risks
  • Rugs or mats that aren’t firmly anchored
  • Flooring or other surfaces that do not provide the same level of traction throughout
  • Poor lighting
  • Uneven flooring

Industries Who Are at Risk

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) a part of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the following industries have the highest risk of slip, trip, and fall events:

  • Healthcare
  • Building Maintenance
  • Hospitality
  • Transportation
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing

Effective Risk Treatment Practices

There are effective strategies to prevent slips, trips, and falls, which can reduce the risk of these risks for both employees and employers. Fall safety and prevention should be everyone’s priority because there is a danger of injury ranging from a minor sprained ankle to a catastrophic injury or death.

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Proper Housekeeping

Good housekeeping is the first and most crucial step to prevent falls:

  • Mop and cleaning all spills
  • Identify wet and spilled areas
  • Require housekeeping as part of every job description
  • Post safety signs to remind everyone of hazards and policies
  • Remove obstructions from paths and ensuring that they are always clutter-free
  • Tack down, tape, or otherwise secure non-flat mats, rugs, and carpets
  • Close filing cabinet or storage drawers every time
  • Cover cables that traverse sidewalks
  • Keep walkways and work areas well-lit
  • Repair broken switches and used light bulbs

Strategies to prevent slips, trips, and falls

Encourage and Manage Safe Behavior

This is the most challenging condition to manage. It’s natural to let your guard down for a moment and become preoccupied with unrelated ideas or several tasks.

Being hurried will cause you to walk or run too quickly, which increases your risk of slipping, tripping, or falling. Many workplace injuries are caused by taking shortcuts, not paying attention to where one is going, using a cell phone, carrying objects that block one’s vision, donning sunglasses in low-light situations, not using authorized paths, and speeding.

In the end, it’s up to each person to stay focused and pay attention to their surroundings.

Provide The Right Equipment

Employers must supply the necessary tools, such as ladders, scaffolds, and fall protection PPE. Make sure employees wear footwear appropriate for the working environment and to keep them well maintained and free of any snow, ice, or mud.

Investigate All Accidents

It’s crucial to keep careful track of any incidents that do happen when you start to adopt some of these fall prevention strategies. Any slip or trip, even without a fall or harm, demonstrates that there is still an opportunity for progress. You can continue reducing risk by establishing the safest workplace possible and investigating each incident.

It is possible to prevent many slips and falls by doing your best to provide a safe workplace, adhering to the preventative strategies mentioned above, being proactive about keeping your workplace uncluttered and risk-free.

Final Thoughts

The most crucial task for the employer is creating a safe workplace. Employees that work in a safe environment have a reduced of getting hurt ill while performing their duties. Employers must “provide their employees with working circumstances that are free of known risks,” according to OSHA law.

Maintaining employee safety is not only required by law, but also morally right. People who work in facilities or on construction sites have lives outside of work, including families, friends, and social circles. Their well-being and safety should never be put at risk for financial gain. Because of this, it is crucial to prioritize safety and ensure that every worker makes it home safely each day.

Free eBook: Workers’ Comp Cost-Cutting Strategies

Free eBook | Workers' Compensation Cost Cutting Strategies

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About The Author

My expertise lies in my knowledge from my over 15 years of experience in the commercial and personal insurance industry. My goal is to provide my clients with the proper insurance coverage at the most cost-effective solution.

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