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Safety Matters: Slip and Fall Prevention Tips

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Slip and Fall Prevention Tips

A caretaker was scrubbing the break room floor with water and a cleaning agent. An observant worker realised that employees would soon be coming to the break room for lunch. This person then took the proper action to avert a potentially dangerous situation by setting up a wet floor to alert employees when they entered the room.

Do Your Safety Part

An unguarded wet floor is only one of the many causes of work-related injuries every year. It is important to recognise unsafe conditions that could lead to slips and falls and do what you can to prevent them.

There are various ways to suffer slips and falls while working. You can slip and lose your balance, you can trip over objects left improperly in your walkway or you can simply fall from a height to the ground. To avoid slips and falls, be on the lookout for foreign substances on the floor. Watch for:

  • Deposits of water
  • Food
  • Grease or oil
  • Soap
  • Product spills

Even small quantities of these foreign substances are enough to make you fall.

Good Housekeeping Counts

When entering a building from the outdoors, or from debris or storage areas, clean your footwear thoroughly. Snowy and rainy weather requires a doormat at each entrance to allow for complete wiping of shoes. Avoid running, walk safely and do not change directions too sharply.

Beware of tripping hazards. Rubbish, unused materials or any object left in aisles designed for pedestrian traffic invites falls. Extension cables, tools, trolleys, extra stock and other items should be removed or properly barricaded off. If equipment, supplies or products are left in walkways, report it. Let the proper personnel remove it. And keep passageways clean of debris by using rubbish and recycling bins.

Practise Prevention

Walk in designated walking areas. Shortcuts through machine or storage areas invite accidents. Concentrate on where you are going – horseplay and inattention leaves you vulnerable to unsafe conditions. Hold on to handrails when using stairs or ramps. They are there to protect you should a fall occur. If you’re carrying a heavy load that hampers your ability to properly ascend or descend stairs, use the lift or find help.

The worst falls are from heights and can result in serious injury or death. Learn and practise ladder safety. For example, when climbing, use a ladder of proper length that is in good condition. Keep it placed on a firm surface. Do not climb a ladder placed on machinery, crates, supplies or boxes. Keep the ladder’s base 30 centimetres away from the wall for every 120 centimetres of height. Don’t over-reach. Always have control of your balance when working from a ladder. Never climb a ladder with your hands full.

Slips and falls occur every day. The extent of injuries and their recurrence can be minimised through proper safety knowledge, good housekeeping and practising prevention.

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