Slips, trips, and falls are leading causes of workplace injuries. No matter where you are, hazards may be present that put you at risk of losing traction and slipping, tripping over an object, or falling from an elevated position. Read the information below, and ask yourself if there are actions you can take to protect yourself from a slip, trip, or fall.
Recognize The Hazards
Slip hazards can include wet or dry contaminants on the floor such as water, dirt, or oil. Trip hazards can include open file drawers, boxes on a stairwell, or trash left on the floor. Falling from an elevated position can include into an open service pit, from a loading dock, tractor steps, or off a ladder.
Slips, trips, and falls can occur when using equipment improperly. Slipping on a mechanic’s roller seat in the shop, tripping over an extension cord, or falling off a ladder with a damaged rung are common hazards.
Talking or texting on a device, talking to a coworker, or eating and drinking while walking all divert your attention away from where you step and potential hazards in your path. Ignoring hazard signs and wearing improper footwear are other risky behaviors.
Know the Defense
Avoid distracted walking
Keep your attention focused on the task at hand and put away mobile devices, food, and drinks until you arrive at your destination. If a co-worker needs to talk, stop and have the conversation or table it until later.
Hurrying is a common factor in slips, trips, and falls. Slow down and take shorter steps to ensure your feet keep their grip on the walking surface. Be cautious when working from elevated positions. Always maintain three points of contact (two hands/one foot or two feet/one hand) with a ladder, tractor steps, etc.
wear proper footwear
The soles of your footwear act in very similar ways as the tires on your vehicle. Footwear with slippery soles can cause you to slip like bald tires can cause hydroplaning. To prevent slips and falls, wear footwear with slip-resistant soles that are appropriate to the task and environment in which you will be working.
pay attention to your surroundings
Be mindful of trip and fall hazards like an open service pit or loading dock, equipment lying around, or hazards in walkways. Likewise, watch out for contaminants on the floor like a spilled drink in the break room, water on the restroom floor, or a freshly waxed floor.
obey hazard warning signs
Do not ignore hazard warning signs. These signs are used to protect you and others from harm. Make a wise decision and find a path around the hazard area as instructed.
Note: These lists are not intended to be all-inclusive.
The information in this article is provided as a courtesy of Great West Casualty Company and is part of the Value-Driven® Company program. Value-Driven Company was created to help educate and inform insureds so they can make better decisions, build a culture that values safety, and manage risk more effectively. To see what additional resources Great West Casualty Company can provide for its insureds, please contact your safety representative, or click below to find an agent.
© Great West Casualty Company 2019. The material in this publication is the property of Great West Casualty Company unless otherwise noted and may not be reproduced without its written consent by any person other than a current insured of Great West Casualty Company for business purposes. Insured should attribute use as follows: “© Great West Casualty Company 2019. Used with permission by Great West Casualty Company.”
This material is intended to be a broad overview of the subject matter and is provided for informational purposes only. Great West Casualty Company does not provide legal advice to its insureds, nor does it advise insureds on employment-related issues. Therefore, the subject matter is not intended to serve as legal or employment advice for any issue(s) that may arise in the operations of its insureds. Legal advice should always be sought from the insured’s legal counsel. Great West Casualty Company shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, action, or inaction alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the information contained herein.