A trip and fall in your workplace can result in a range of injuries, from bruises to broken bones. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 27% of nonfatal work injuries in 2018 were related to slips, trips, and falls. Luckily, there are some proactive steps that you can take to help reduce trips and falls at your workplace.
1. Keep Aisles and Walkways Clear
Keep all work areas clean and free of obstacles. Train employees to pick up loose items from the floor when they see them. Avoid stringing cables and air hoses across walkways, and tape down cords or run them under rugs where this cannot be avoided. Regularly inspect the work area for slip and trip hazards, such as uneven sidewalks.
2. Ensure Your Stairs are Safe
First, make sure that your stairs have handrails, and are well lit. Unsecured rugs or carpets should be removed. Consider adding reflective tape to stairs to make them easier to see. If the stairs are located outside, keep them clear of ice and snow in the winter.
3. Use Clear Signs
Keep employees and customers aware of potential hazards, such as a step up, with easy to read signs in highly visible areas.
4. Add Lights to All Areas
Make sure stairwells, parking lots, work areas, and corridors are properly lit. Tripping hazards can be difficult to see in poorly lit areas.
5. Provide Safe Step Stools and Ladders
Keep step stools and ladders in easily accessible areas, and train employees on their proper usage. By providing a safe option, employees are less likely to use furniture not suited for that purpose that may be unstable and lead to injury. Regularly inspect ladders and step stools to ensure they are in good working condition and have not been damaged.
6. Evaluate Footwear
Are your employees wearing proper footwear for their job? Encourage employees to wear shoes that have good traction. Shoelaces should be kept tied.
7. Block Off Problem Areas
If you find an area at your workplace that cannot be immediately fixed, such as a hole in the sidewalk outside, place warning signs or cones around the area and consider roping it off.