Slips, Trips & Falls
Slips, Trips & Falls
A general hazard of any workplace are slips, trips and falls, (STF’S) which make up a majority of industry accidents. Injuries that could occur from STF’s includes sprains, strains, contusions, fractures and abrasions. Most of these injuries could be prevented with the right steps.
A hazard for a slip not only includes wet materials but can also be caused from dry substances. Knowing what substances to look out for can help to ensure your feet stay safely beneath you.
• Water & Ice
• grease or oil
• food & beverages
• plastic wrap
• unanchored rugs & mats
• freshly waxed surfaces
• Watch out for hazard signs, polished floors can be slippery even when dry
Eliminating tripping hazards
Objects that could tangle up your feet or throw your body off balance put you at risk to an unnecessary fall. Be aware of your surroundings to best eliminate any of the following hazards.
• Clear walk ways of any cords or tape them down
• Use non-skid rugs and ensure to tape them down to prevent bunching
• Do not carry more than you can handle, a large load can obstruct your vision and affect your balance
• Ensure there is adequate lighting
• Walk with purpose – be aware of your surroundings
• Clean spills immediately
• Keep drawers and cabinets closed if they aren’t being used
• Watch for side walk or curb drops
Handrails offer an effective aid to avoiding dangerous falls. If a handrail is made available there's a reason! These structures provide support, stability and major fall prevention descending and ascending stairs. Remember to get a GRIP.
In stairways to
Additonal stairway fall prevention tips:
• Avoid rushing or hurrying
• Wear proper footwear
• Take on step at a time
• Use the elevator if possible to avoid carrying items on stairs, if items do need to be carried on stairs, limit loads, keeping a free hand to grip the handrail
• Put your mobile device away
Increased Risk of STF’s from environment
The environment that surrounds us contains hazards that can obstruct or limit your vison. These exposures are often out of our control. Remaining conscious of the risk they propose is one way to avoid an unnecessary slip, trip or fall.
• Poor lighting
• Fog or misty weather
• Icy conditions
Threats of a slip, trip or fall that can be controlled by living a healthy lifestyle include the following
• Stress or illness
• Alcohol and other drug use affects
• Know common medication effects such as dizziness and drowsiness, consult your doctor when starting a new medication
Lack of sleep can cause you to experience short bursts of sleep otherwise known as microsleep. Those who experience microsleep can lose consciousness for anywhere up to 30 seconds. This is extremely dangerous if one is driving or in an elevated position to fall. Consistently get 7-9 hours of sleep everyday to avoid fatigue related injuries.
• Workplace design: If you see a problem say something
• Tidy housecleaning: Keep ground and walk areas free of clutter, obstructing objects
• Wear proper footwear: Shoes should have good traction
• Reduce your chances of suffering a fall by getting your vision checked regularly
When snow hits in Wisconsin take extra precautions as ice is a major cause of slips. Whether you are on foot, bike, or using a motor vehicle practice extra caution and be sure to watch for black ice. The following can help minimize your risk of a slip, trip or fall.
- Walk like a penguin! Point arms down and take slow short steps to increase traction
- Concentrate on your path and take your time
- Be conscious of your terrain, some are more slippery than others
- During the winter it is especially important to wear proper footwear that will provide appropriate traction
- When entering a building watch out for snow and slush that was trudged in as this can often lead to a slip hazard
- Wipe shoes off on an entrance mat if available
- Avoid carrying items so your hands are free in case of a slip
- Always protect your head-do this by tucking chin to avoid hitting head (unless falling forward)
- try to maneuver your body so the fleshiest part of you can take the impact
- hit ground with entire palm and forearm to reduce chance of a wrist fracture
- avoid stiffening your body
- breathe out
Take action against injuries!