Preventing Slips, Trips & Falls - USDA ARS

Preventing Slips, Trips & Falls - USDA ARS

Preventing Slips, Trips & Falls Hazards are Everywhere Wet floors, an open drawer, slippery shoes, an icy walkway all can lead to serious, painful injuries in the workplace. Protect yourself and your co-workers by learning how slips, trips and falls occur and what you can do to report or clean up hazards. Slips, trips and falls account for more than 20% of all non-fatal occupational injuries involving days away from work.

Approximately 10% of fatal occupational injuries for all industries were attributed to fall from a height. Slips, trips and falls are one of the leading causes of accidents in the workplace, accounting for at least 20% of all workers compensation claims. Causes for Workplace Slips, Trips and Falls A Lack of Safety Awareness Unsafe Conditions Unsafe Behaviors

Watch your step! Slips happen when there is too little friction between your feet and the ground. Trips happen when something halts your motion. Falls happen when your body is in an unstable position. Reducing Slips, Trips and Falls

Stay alert and aware of your surroundings Get plenty of rest Manage stress Avoid alcohol and drug use Take appropriate breaks

Preventing Slips If you must work on wet surfaces Make wide turns at corners Walk slowly and take short steps Keep your feet pointed slightly outward Keep your hands free for balance Wear appropriate slip-resistant shoes Preventing Slips When the weather creates hazardous

walking conditions Keep your hands free for balance Wear shoes with enough traction for the ground condition Wear sunglasses on bright days, especially if the ground is covered with snow or ice Preventing Slips Examples of preventable slips Wipe shoes thoroughly on rugs

Wipe up spills (even small one) even if it is not your spill Mark spills/slippery area until cleaned up If you see a hazard on the floor, clean it up Preventing Trips Trips are caused by taking shortcuts, poor lighting and loose footing Walk in designated areas Make sure you can see where you are going

and look ahead Carry only loads you can see over and doesnt hinder your movement Remind yourself to slow down and pay attention Preventing Trips Keep areas well lit and clean. Proper lighting helps avoid potential hazards Turn on lights every time you enter a room Replace light bulbs when they burn out

Keep all work areas & walkways clear of boxes, bags, papers, cords, etc. Watch for curled rugs, chipped flooring, etc. Close file drawers and cabinet doors after each use Correct or report potential trip hazards Preventing Falls Falls happen when your center of gravity is in an unsupported position. Use the right equipment for the job

Find out equipment needs ahead of time Follow safety warnings on equipment Keep your center of gravity supported Keep your arms and legs as close to your center of gravity as possible

Preventing Falls Use ladders safely. Follow the 1-to-4 rule. The base of the ladder needs to be placed 1 foot from its support for every 4 feet of ladder. Inspect ladders before using Set and secure the ladder on stable ground Have someone hold the base of the ladder Never use the top rung of the ladder for standing

Preventing Falls Examples of preventable falls Dont stand on chairs or tables with wheels Dont stand on furniture not intended for standing/climbing Dont sit on banisters Report/repair uneven or wobbly furniture Your role in Prevention

Make lifestyle decisions that include getting adequate rest, staying focused on your task and keeping stress under control. Stay focused on your task at hand Take short breaks to allow for refocusing Rest your mind and body

Manage stress and fatigue Make Safety a Habit To stay safe on the job and at home, make safety part of your daily routine. Grip hand rails with all your fingers and thumb Look a head when climbing stairs without lifting our head back. This tends to lean the body backward. Carry only loads of a comfortable weight Stay in shape and control your weight. Maintaining

muscle and weight helps control your center of gravity and balance Pay attention to signs and warnings Safety is Up to You Preventing accidents and injuries in the workplace involves teamwork. You and your co-workers need to work cooperatively to identify, report and correct unsafe conditions and behaviors. Make a commitment to yourself to develop

an awareness of potential hazards.

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