Alert - Avoid Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slips and falls occur every day.
The extent of injuries and their recurrence can be minimized
through proper safety knowledge and attitudes. Practice safety--don't
learn it through experience.
There are various ways to suffer
slips and falls while working. You can slip and lose your
balance, you can trip over objects left in your walkway, or
you can simply fall from an elevated position above the ground.
Slips can be caused by wet surfaces,
spills, or weather hazards like ice or snow. Slips are more
likely to occur when you hurry or run, wear the wrong kind
of shoes, or don't pay attention to where you're walking.
To avoid slips, be on the lookout
for foreign substances on the floors. Watch for deposits of
water, food, grease, oil, sawdust, soap, or debris. Even small
quantities are enough to make you fall.
When entering a building from
the outdoors or from debris areas, clean your footwear thoroughly.
Snowy and rainy weather requires that you clean off the soles
of your shoes. Don't go too fast, walk safely, and avoid changing
directions too sharply.
Trips occur whenever your foot
hits an object and you are moving with enough momentum to
be thrown off balance.
Trash, unused materials, any object
left in the aisles or other areas designed for pedestrian
traffic invites falls. Extension cords, tools, carts, and
other items should be removed or properly barricaded off.
Report any equipment or supplies that are left in walkways.
Keep passageways clear of debris.
Walk where you're supposed to
walk. Short cuts through machine areas invite accidents. Concentrate
on where you are going -- horseplay and inattention leaves
you vulnerable to unsafe conditions.
The worst falls are from elevated
positions like ladders and scaffolding. They result in serious
injuries and death. Learn and practice ladder safety and the
proper use of scaffolding.
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 which hampers your
ability to properly ascend or descend stairs, use the elevator,
or find help!
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, stock or boxes. Keep the ladder's base 1 foot away
from the wall for every 4 feet 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, and always carry
tools in proper carrying devices.
When using a scaffold, be sure
it is assembled according to the manufacturer's specifications.
Check carefully for defects. Standing and working planks should
be level and clean. Use toeboards to prevent tools from falling
and workers from slipping. Work only with people who practice
Source: Michigan Department
of Labor (July 1994), Set on Safety, Five Minute Safety Talks,
No. 7, "Slips and Falls," Lansing MI: Safety Education
& Training Division.