Slip, Trip, and Fall Protection
Slips, Trips and Falls contribute to 15% of all accidental deaths and are second only to motor vehicle crashes in causes of fatalities. In addition, S/T/F injuries make up approximately 25% of all workplace safety claims. Companies must ensure their safety program addresses S/T/F potential not only for just their employees, but also their customers, vendors and/or general public that has access to company property, premises and facility. No one should be considered exempt from either a potential S/T/F injury and thus be required to observe company safety rules.
We all know the Golden Rule; "Treat others as you'd like to be treated". Therefore an effective and well managed employee safety program can go a long way in mitigating potential general liability exposure, particularly in preventing common Slip, Trip and Fall injuries claims.
The responsible company ensures a safe workplace. Responsible employees work safely and follow safety rules and precautions. All employees should receive initial safety orientation as well as periodic refresher safety training. Safety training should include Hazard Recognition, how/who to report them, and how/when and when not to take corrective action.
Customer, vendor and visitor safety should be specifically addressed in the company safety policy. Company supervisors and managers should ensure customer, vendor and visitor personnel comply. Non-compliance with safety rules should be considered a Workplace Hazard. Employees who observe customer, vendor or visitor safety rule non-compliance must report this behavior immediately to their supervisor.
Slip, Trip and Fall protection
- Clearly specify customer, vendor and visitor pedestrian traffic by means of fencing, barriers and signage, designating parking areas, aisles and walkways.
- Ensure that lighting is adequate and that warning signs and markings are clearly visible and in good condition.
- Keep these areas clear of all obstructions; trash, debris, electrical cords, air hoses, oil, water and any other foreign material.
- Temporary hazards should be identified and remmediated immediately; i.e. - clean up spills, pick up trash, return tools, and supplies, equipment, wheel chocks, ladders, etc. to their designated storage location, etc.
- Fill and repair chuckholes and cracks in pavement and sidewalks. Highlight uneven walking surfaces/steps with yellow paint.
- Non-employees who have been authorized to work on premises (i.e. loading, unloading, repairing equipment, etc.) should be requested to follow company safety policy; any observed non-compliance must be reported immediately to supervisor/manager.
- Do not allow non-employees to enter a work area unless specifically authorized and escorted by company management; provide authorized visitors with protective eyewear.
- During inclement winter weather, keep parking lots and sidewalks plowed, cleared and salted; do this as soon and as frequently as possible; plan ahead and have supplies, equipment and personnel available.
- Ensure throw rugs and floor mats are changed regularly, are in good condition and have skid-resistant backing to prevent from moving.
- As we have seen, falls are the second leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States. Of these fatal falls, statistics show that nearly half occur on steps and stairways.
- Steps and stairways can be found in various dimensions and numerous locations. Stairways are constructed out of many common building materials (metal, wood, concrete, etc.) and used to permit transit from one level or floor to another in applications too numerous to detail here. In the home or the office, at the mall or the factory, indoors or out, the act of climbing or descending a stairway will occur many times each day.
- Ensure any stairway used by customers, vendors or visitors (and employees) is equipped with handrails. Inspect the handrails for looseness or damage.
- Periodically inspect steps, treads and risers; repair and replace any loose, cracked or frayed stairwell material; make sure the edge of each step is noticable; highlight with yellow paint if necessary.
- Keep stairways well lit and clear of any obstacle or debris; do not store/stack parts, supplies, boxes, etc. on stairways.