Tips for Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls at Work

Every year, slips trips and falls lead to thousands of workplace injuries, such as fractures, bruises, sprains, strains, and dislocations.

Slips happen when a person loses traction between their foot and the ground. Trips tend to occur when a person catches their foot on an obstacle. Both slips and trips can lead to falls. Falls can also occur from heights such as ladders or balconies.

Prevention starts with conducting regular inspections of the workplace. Some of the things to look out for include damaged carpets, buckled mats, wet floors, floor polish build-up, obstructions in traffic areas, poor lighting and damaged steps or stairs.

Here are some tips for risk management:

• When washing floors, always isolate wet areas.

• Consider using slip-resistant mats on floors inclined to be slippery.

• Develop a process for ensuring liquid spills are always cleaned up promptly.

• Remove cables from walk-through areas. If there are too many cables being used, you might need to look into installing more electrical sockets.

• Isolate damaged areas such as broken steps and get prompt repairs done.

• Define steps and stairs with coloured strips and nosings. Also provide adequate handrails.

• Remove obstacles than could cause trips. If clutter is a problem, maybe consider installing more cupboards or storage areas.

• Install good lighting in and around the premises.

Finally, if your staff use ladders, they should always do so in accordance with WorkSafe practices. This includes setting ladders up correctly, never using damaged ladders, and using a hoist if heavy tools need to be carried up or down ladders.