Slips Trips Falls

Slips, Trips & Falls

  • Slips Trips & Falls

    Slips, trips and falls can result in head injuries, back injuries, broken bones, sprained muscles, cuts and lacerations or even death. A slip occurs when there is too little traction or friction between the shoe and walking surface, often causing a person to fall backwards. A trip occurs when a person's foot contacts an object in their way or drops to a lower level unexpectedly, causing them to be thrown of balance and typically fall forwards. A fall occurs when you are too far off balance. Some factors contributing to slips, trips and falls include wet slippery surfaces, environmental conditions, insufficient or inadequate lighting, changes in elevations or climbing and descending stairways, and housekeeping issues in working and walking areas.

  • Wet and slippery surfaces. Use absorbent mats, remembering that unanchored mats may cause slip hazards themselves. If you must walk on a slippery surface, wear proper footwear for better traction, or use rails or another stable object that you can hold onto.
  • Environmental conditions such as rain, ice and snow can cause major slip hazards. No matter how well snow and ice are removed from sidewalks, parking lots and the surrounding streets, people will invariably encounter some slippery surfaces.
  • Insufficient lighting can make it difficult to see obstacles or notice changes in a walking surface. Moving from light to dark areas or vice versa can cause temporary vision problems that may be just enough to cause a person to slip on an oil spill or trip over a misplaced object.
  • Changes in elevation. Even a change in walking surfaces of ¼ to ½ inch can be sufficient to cause a trip. Curbs, cracks in the sidewalk, flaws in parking lots, potholes, uneven lawns, ramps and single steps are all examples of these hazards. Keeping stairs in good repair is essential to preventing accidents. Make sure the stairs have secure handrails and guard rails, even tread height, and are free of deteriorating covering to prevent an accident.
  • Proper housekeeping in working and walking areas can reduce the chances of slips, trips and falls on a work site. It is important to maintain a safe working environment and a clean walking surface free of obstacles such as clutter, material stacked or dumped in passageways and obstructions across hallways.

Most slip, trip and falls incidents are easily preventable if you follow one simple piece of advice: watch where you're going! Walking is such a common activity that most people pay little attention to potential hazards, such as hidden steps, loose irregular surfaces, smooth surfaces, wet spots, and oil that can make it difficult for a person to maintain their footing. Ensure you report even a minor fall as it could prevent someone from experiencing a more serious injury down the line.


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