National Safety Month: Preventing Injuries from Slips, Trips, and Falls

Man in safety gear sitting on warehouse floor, holding his knee in pain next to a yellow hard hat and a step ladder.

For the final week of National Safety Month, we’re examining common causes of slips, trips, and falls at work.

Slips, trips, and falls are common causes of workplace injuries. When people concentrate on a task, they often lose sight of their foot placement. Workers need to be focused on what they are doing, so walking surfaces need to be clear and clean. While falls from another level are usually quite severe, slipping or tripping and then falling to the ground can be just as dangerous as falling from a height. Help ensure safety at work by monitoring these issues known for causing slips, trips, and falls.

Housekeeping Issues

It’s important to maintain proper housekeeping on all walking and working surfaces to keep them free of obstacles. Spills, trash or debris on the floor, cords, cables, and open drawers are all areas of concern. Without good housekeeping practices and training, accidents are more likely.

Maintenance of Walking Surfaces, Floors, Stairs, and Ladders

Uneven walking surfaces, areas with different traction, stairs, and ladders that are in poor condition or lack handrails should be concerning.

Environmental Conditions

Precipitation can cause major slip hazards due to leaky roofs. This can happen in industrial facilities during or just after rain or snow.  Outdoor areas can be hard to control, but employers should have a plan, even for their parking areas where injuries from slipping and falling can occur.  

Another major environmental condition to consider is poor lighting. If the lighting is inadequate, it can be difficult to see obstacles on walking surfaces and may cause injury.

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