Shop Safety: Fall Prevention


Slips and falls are the leading cause of workplace injuries. These incidents often result in traumatic head, neck, back, and other serious injuries which affect you, your family, coworkers, and employer. In addition to the pain and possibility of temporary or permanent disability, a slip and fall injury could cost you in terms of lost wages, out-of-pocket medical expenses, and your ability to enjoy the people and activities you love. The key to preventing slips and falls is to be able to recognize hazards and take defensive measures to protect you from injury.

Recognize the Hazards


  • Open service pit
  • Spilled fluids on the floor (ex. oil, grease, etc).
  • Uneven floors (ex. loading dock, trenches, drains, etc.)
  • Blocked stairwells
  • Improper footwear
  • Working from heights (ex. top of trailers, ladders, etc.)
  • Cluttered lofts/storage areas
  • Damaged/improper ladder use
  • Poor lighting

Personal behaviors

  • Failure to use three-point contact
  • Failure to use handrails on stairwells
  • Distracted walking
  • Failure to use fall protection devices
  • Obscured view while carrying items
  • Poor housekeeping (ex. tools, air hoses, etc.)
  • Skipping steps on stairs
  • Hurrying

Know the Defense

Walking/working surfaces

  • Stay on the ground as much as possible
  • Utilize fall protection equipment
  • Avoid distracted walking
  • Place barriers around open service pits and loading docks
  • Practice good housekeeping
  • Always keep line of sight clear when carrying items
  • Use handrails on stairs and ramps
  • Report hazards immediately
  • Obey hazard warning signs


  • Wear shoes with slip- and puncture-resistant soles and toe protection
  • Avoid athletic shoes, flip flops, cowboy boots, dress shoes, and certain hiking boots


  • Use three-point contact
  • Wear firm-grip gloves on ladders
  • Always face the ladder or equipment when climbing on/off

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.


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© Copyright Great West Casualty Company 2017. 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: “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.