azard: Slips, Trips and Falls.
Risk: No matter what type of work you may do, the risk to slips, trips and falls are there. Any accident potentially, may lead into lost time injuries or even death
Following are some common causes of slips and trips:
- Objects lying on the floor e.g. power cords, boxes, mop
- A slippery floor surface e.g. due to a spill or floors left wet;
- Loose flooring;
- Someone’s view of the floor or stairs being obscured e.g. while carrying rubbish; and
- Unsuitable clothing or footwear worn by workers e.g. high heels, thongs.
These are just a few examples you may have others on site.
You may be surprised to hear that nearly a quarter of lost time injuries in the workplace (reported), were caused by slips & trips.
Often the simplest steps can make the biggest differences to a safety outcome
Consider implementing the following control measures:
- Identify and remove the trip hazard – this can be as simple as walking through the workplace and removing loose objects or other trip hazards;
- Identify areas where slippage occurs and suggest to the client to install non-slip surfaces e.g. on stairs, entrance mats on hard floors.
- Limit people in small spaces to reduce tripping over one another.
- Consider whether visibility can be improved through better lighting, to ensure safer access or clearer signage.
- Ensure signage is in place if floors are wet or unsafe, to warn others;
- Ensure there is systems in place to identify and control any spills or trip hazards; and
- Where needed, give workers adequate PPE such as non-slip boots.
Although not all slips, trips and falls can be alleviated, by putting these control measures in place, they can be reduced.
Talk to your managers about completing a full risk assessment to see how the process works. You need to complete at least visual risk assessments on site on an ongoing basis. Then, if any are found, see how the manager’s control them. And remember, always be aware of your surroundings.