Slips and Falls

Man walking on ice

Slips are the result of a person losing balance or footing due to a lack of friction between the foot and the ground. Falls that result from slipping are the leading cause of workplace injuries. From cuts and bruises to broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and even death, a simple loss of traction could seriously jeopardize your quality of life. The key to protecting yourself is recognizing the hazards that can lead to slips and falls and knowing how to reduce your risk of injury.

Recognize the Hazards

Environment equipment

  • Contaminants on the floor
    • Snow and ice in the parking lot
    • Water in the bathroom
    • Spilled drink in the break room
    • Oil on the shop floor
    • Polished or waxed floors
    • Dust on the loading dock floor
  • Floor irregularities
    • Buckled carpets and mats
    • Uneven floors, like steps or stairwells
    • Floor openings, like service pits or loading docks
    • Sloped ramps
    • Broken sidewalks or potholes
  • Low-lit areas that reduce visibility
    • Service pits
    • Areas around the truck at night
  • Tractor steps worn or covered with ice, snow, and mud

Personal behaviors

  • Failing to use three-point contact when climbing in or out of the cab or trailer
  • Wearing improper footwear
    • Cowboy boots, flip flops, sandals, etc.
  • Hurrying
  • Distracted walking
    • Talking on cell phone
    • Conversing with another person
    • Eating or drinking

Know The Defense 

Essential 7 Driving Techniques

  • Be attentive to surroundings
    • Check the ground for hazards ahead
  • Avoid distractions
    • Do not talk or text on a cell phone while walking
    • Avoid watching videos on mobile devices when walking
    • Check messages and status updates while standing still or sitting
    • Keep your eyes focused on the path ahead while walking and conversing with others
  • Practice good housekeeping
    • Clean up spills on the floor
    • Pick up objects that others could slip on
    • Sweep floors to remove dust and dirt
  • Communicate hazards immediately
    • Ask for help if you can't remove a hazard by yourself
    • Never leave a hazard for someone else to slip on
  • Follow established safety procedures
    • Utilize three-point contact when climbing on/off equipment or ladders
      • Use two hands and one foot or one hand and both feet and face the vehicle
    • Walk, do not run or hurry
    • Take shorter steps for stability
    • Keep your hands free of objects for balance
  • Utilize personal protective equipment
    • Wear shoes with slip-resistant soles
    • Use a flashlight in low-lit areas

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.

Find an Agent

© Great West Casualty Company 2018. 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 2018. 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.