Slips, Trips, and Falls Safety at Work

Slips, trips, and falls are responsible for many general industry accidents.  They cause 15% of all accidental deaths and are second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities. 65% of fall-related injuries occur as a result of falls from same-level walking surfaces.

Conditions that create slip, trip, and fall hazards include:

• Dry product spills such as dusts, powders, granules and small metal parts
• Highly polished or freshly waxed floors
• Uneven or sloped surfaces
• Transitions from one surface to another (e.g., outdoors to indoors, carpet to vinyl, grid to concrete)
• Unanchored rugs or mats, loose floorboards or steps, missing tiles
• Gravel, grass, leaves, pine needles and other slippery natural materials
• Incorrect use of personal protective gear and fall prevention equipment
• Poor housekeeping such as clutter, obstacles in work areas, open cabinets and desk drawers
• Inadequate or no cautionary signage
• Dim lighting, glare, shadows or misty conditions
• Individual physical factors such as poor eyesight or depth perception; fatigue, dizziness, stress or illness; medication, alcohol and drug effects
• Behavioral factors such as talking on cell phones or eating while walking; hurrying and not paying attention to surroundings; carrying or moving cumbersome or tall objects; taking unsafe shortcuts; being off balance when mounting/dismounting vehicles, equipment, ladders or scaffolding; wearing inappropriate footwear for the conditions or wet, muddy or greasy shoes


Precautions and Prevention:

• Practicing good housekeeping
• Keeping floor surfaces clean and dry
• Providing adequate drainage in wet floor locations
• Ensuring wet floor warning signs are posted in and around wet floor locations
• Maintaining clear aisles and passageways
• Ensuring walkway surfaces are in good repair
• Keeping cords and hoses out of the way
• Reporting and cleaning up spills immediately
• Providing non-slip coatings or anti-skid surfaces
• Minimizing matting trip hazards
• Providing adequate lighting in all areas
• Eliminating uneven floor surfaces
• Setting standards for type(s) of footwear to be worn
• Training the workforce to take shorter, more vertical steps in tricky spots and to step over obstacles at an angle
• Establishing an “eyes on the path” and no running rule
• Be observant.
• Placement of warning signs or caution tape and cleaning up spills


When walking, employees should:

• Wear non-slip shoes or work boots
• Proceed at a reasonable pace and avoid distractions
• Use handrails when going up or down stairs and not skip steps
• Use a flashlight in dimly lit or dark areas
• Use extra caution when walking from one surface to another or when the walking surface is uneven, wet or icy
• Hold small loads close to their body and not carry anything that is too large or bulky to see over or around


Good housekeeping practices include:

• Stowing or covering electrical cords, cables, hoses and other trip hazards
• Repairing damaged ladders or steps and uneven walking surfaces
• Ensuring floors are clean, dry and not too slippery
• Closing all drawers and doors that protrude into walkways and aisles
• Installing skid-resistant materials on ramps and other sloped surfaces
• Cleaning up spills following strategic placement of caution signs
• Using moisture-absorbent, slide-proof floor mats, especially at entrances/exits
• Installing adequate lighting in walkways, staircases, ramps, hallways and other work areas

Also review other workplace safety topics here or if you’re looking to hire new employees but don’t know where to start, contact Award Staffing. We will be able to help you find the right employees for your unique business needs.



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