Causes Of Slips & Falls

Do these stories of slips, trips and falls sound familiar? Are slips, trips and falls happening at your company? Let’s take a closer look at the causes — everything from slippery surfaces (the wet floor), to a blocked walkway (the hose), a head knocker (the angle iron), and failure to wear fall protection. And when studying causes of slips, trips and falls, remember, they can be both conditional and behavioral.

Eyes wide shut

In behavioral safety, the term “eyes on path” describes the behavior of watching where you’re going. Many times, uneven or slippery surfaces that cause slips, trips and falls can be avoided by simply watching where you are walking, if you cannot avoid them, you will slips, trips and falls, there is always a precuation that can be done to the floor. products like Anti-Slip treatments for floors can be used in order to avoid dangerous slips, trips and falls Sounds like a matter of common sense, but of course it’s not always done. We read papers as we walk down the hall, look at someone else, or simply don’t watch the path ahead or look down to see tripping hazards. the smallest hazard can cause a slip, trip and fall.

Footwear's role

The shoes we wear can play a big part in preventing falls. The slickness of the soles and the type of heels worn need to be evaluated if slips, trips, and falls are to be prevented. Whenever a fall-related injury is investigated, the footwear needs to be evaluated to see if it contributed to the incident. The footwear works hand in had with the type of floor as well as the envornment that it is in. You could have great slip resistence under your shoes preventing slips, trips and falls, its is pointless if the floor is slippery. There are many products available to cure the problem of slipper floors which inevatibly cause slips, trips and falls

Slippery and uneven surfaces

People cause most slippery surfaces — spilled coffee on the floor, oil leaks that haven’t been cleaned up, or highly waxed floors, to name a few,, these all directly result in slips, trips and falls. Conditions such as rain and ice are out of our hands, though we do have many solutions available. Slippery surfaces are usually a matter of housekeeping as well as incorrect flooring used. An uneven surface is an injury waiting to occur. Behaviorally, we can usually avoid the problems posed by uneven surfaces by simply recognizing that they are a hazard and acting accordingly.

Tripping hazards

Hoses and cords strung across walkways in production areas are a continual hazard of slips, trips and falls. Cords are also a problem in offices and conference rooms. Most tripping hazards are housekeeping items. Simply using cord protectors and running hoses overhead can reduce these dangers dramatically and therefore eliminating slips, trips and falls.

Elevated work areas

OSHA regulations require the use of fall protection devices when working six feet above the ground. This equipment is effective when employees are stationary, but getting to and from the elevated area, as well as tasks that cause continual movement above ground level, can lead to other problems. Employees must be trained in the use of fall arrest equipment — and it has to be used in order to prevent slips, trips and falls.

Ladders and stairs

Unsafe behaviors are often involved when we are using ladders and stairs. Some of those at-risk behaviors are:

  • Not using the handrail, end result-slips, trips and falls

  • Rushing up or down and taking more than one step at a time, end result-slips, trips and falls

  • Failure to secure the ladder or have someone hold it, end result-slips, trips and falls

  • Using a chair or other piece of furniture in place of a ladder, end result-slips, trips and falls;

  • Leaving tripping hazards on the stairs, end result-slips, trips and falls

  • Not using equipment that has been made safe, end result-slips, trips and falls

Four ways to prevent slips, trips & falls

Simply walking should not be a hazardous activity, yet many companies find that a large portion of their injuries start with a slip, trip, or same-level fall. slips, trips and fallsmany times result in head injuries, back injuries, lacerations, fractures, pulled muscles, and deep contusions.

The disabling effect of these types of incidents increases as the average worker gets older. A slip, trip and fall that might only embarrass a 20-year-old can cause significant injury to a 40-year-old.

Prevention strategies start with identifying industry-wide causes of slips, trips and falls. Next, modify your work areas to control any hazardous exposures. Modify work practices, too.

Finally, complete your prevention program with employee awareness training. Controlling slip, trip and fall hazards takes involvement by everyone. Management must commit to actions that implement engineering and work practice controls; supervisors need to conduct inspections and monitor work practices; and employees must use their training to avoid hazardous conditions.