We’ve all been told at one point or another, “Your health is everything.” But if we’re honest, most of us shrug it off as an overzealous warning to stay in shape. The fact of the matter is, your health truly is everything. That’s why ProVantage Corporate Solutions places a premium on safety in the workplace; to preserve our employees’ well-being. To do so, we have to account for every possible risk factor, starting with slips, trips, and falls.
Believe it or not, slips, trips, and falls account for 15% of accidental deaths, the second leading cause behind motor vehicles. It’s a bleak statistic, but the U.S. Department of Labor collects and shares this data for a reason; to emphasize the legitimate danger of slips, trips, and falls. Of course, not every stumble or misstep is fatal, but it can still have long-term effects on your welfare. Whether it’s loss of wages, out-of-pocket expenses, chronic pain, temporary or permanent disability, or a reduced quality of life, it’s safe to say that these are consequences worth avoiding. Not to mention the laundry list of possible injuries, including sprains, strains, contusions, fractures, abrasions, and lacerations.
So how can you prevent slips, trips, and falls in the workplace? Well, there’s no one answer. In fact, there are countless tips and tricks to consider when navigating your work site. But to keeps things simple, we narrowed it down to 7 ways to prevent slips, trips, and falls in the workplace.
1. Clean up spills immediately.
It may sound obvious, but spills are among the most common causes of slips in the workplace. That’s why it’s imperative to clean every spill the moment you recognize it. This way, you can prevent yourself and your coworkers from sustaining an injury on the job.
2. Mark wet areas.
Along the lines of spills, wet areas are another common cause of slips. If a surface is wet for any reason, say you just mopped up a spill, please mark that area right away. This way, everyone in the vicinity knows they need to watch their step.
3. Keep your workspace clutter-free.
Whether it’s empty boxes, pallets, or tools, clutter in the workspace can be a recipe for disaster. That’s why you should constantly be organizing and clearing debris from the area. In doing so, you can ensure that every walkway is clutter-free and safe to pass through.
4. Be aware of your surroundings.
Awareness is key to avoiding slips, trips, and falls in the workplace. Know what activities are going on and recognize potentially hazardous areas. It’s easier to prevent an accident when you’re aware of uneven surfaces, curbs, ramps, and walkways with cables or other obstacles.
5. Keep your workspace well lit.
Poor lighting in the workplace is asking for an accident; if you can’t see where you’re going, how can you avoid potential hazards? That’s why you should always make sure every area of the worksite is well lit, and if a bulb needs changing, take care of it ASAP. Also, if you’re entering a room with poor lighting, make sure to bring a flashlight as an extra precaution.
6. Prepare for the weather.
Weather is always a cause for concern, especially when it’s raining. As it relates to the workplace, rain can lead to wet shoes and wet surfaces, resulting in a slip. To prevent this from happening, you should check the weather report ahead of time and anticipate risks caused by rainfall.
7. Wear proper footwear.
Speaking of rain and wet surfaces, you should always come to work equipped with proper footwear. Not only should your shoes have enough grip to withstand damp or oily floors, but they should also fit you well. Shoes that are too large can often cause trips or falls. If you’re not sure what constitutes a safe pair of shoes for the workplace, you can find more information here.
Some of these tips seem obvious, but there’s a reason why workers continue to suffer from slips, trips, and falls. They forget the fundamental risk factors! That’s why ProVantage’s Safety Awareness topic this month is slips, trips, and falls; to help prevent these types of accidents. If you’re an employee who’s interested in learning more, take the Safety Awareness Quiz to test your knowledge!