Below is a 5-minute Safety Talk you can share with your workers to reinforce the importance of preventative action in controlling workplace slips, trips, and falls. There is also a downloadable pdf version of the talk at the bottom of this post.
The risk for falls—and slips and trips—exist in every workplace, so it is important to be vigilant in watching for hazards throughout your workday – not only for yourself but also for your coworkers.
Nearly all slips or falls are caused by one of the following:
- Substandard walking surfaces: such as cracks in a surface, obstructions, or slippery surfaces
- Surface contaminants: such as spills or other elements, can make a surface slippery.
- Footwear: wearing the proper footwear for the job, situation, or weather
- Walking style of the person: watch where you are going and avoid distractions, like looking at your phone instead of your path. The right footwear can also decrease fatigue.
Risks caused by poor walking surfaces and surface contaminants can be mitigated by proper lighting and ensuring that walking surfaces are clean and in good repair. So, if you see any issue, please let someone know so the risk is identified and can be remedied.
Some hazards to be aware of throughout your day include:
Tripping hazards can include cords, equipment, uneven floor mats, and unseen or unexpected objects. Keep your workspace clean and free of tripping hazards. If you can’t remove a tripping hazard, then make sure to identify the hazard clearly.
Slipping hazards include wet, icy, greasy, or soiled ground or floors. If you see a slipping hazard, identify it to someone who can remedy the situation. When slippery surfaces are unavoidable in your work environment, wear proper footwear for the task at hand or adjust your behaviour to lower the risk of a slip. Walk slower, use guardrails, stay focused and take your time whenever possible.
A fall can happen from any surface above four inches, such as ladders, hydraulic lifts, large equipment, elevated walkways, ramps, or platforms. Falls may also occur into or through a hole. Most falls occur from heights less than 10 feet, so safety precautions must always be taken, even at lower heights.
67% of falls happen at ground level because of a slip or trip incident. The remaining 30% are falls from a height. To reduce the risk of a fall, you can:
Use 3 points of contact when mounting or dismounting equipment.
- Use handrails or grab bars in areas with stairs or elevation changes.
- In wet or icy conditions, take smaller steps and try to ensure your torso stays balanced over your feet.
- Use slip-resistant matting or provide textured surfaces in potentially wet areas.
- Minimize distractions to remain alert to hazards and avoid carrying bulky items that block your view.
- Remove obstructions from travel areas, such as extension cords, power cords, hoses, boxes, or tools.
- Stay alert to parts projecting from machines or equipment.
Falls are a leading cause of injury in the workplace, whether they are caused by slips, trips, or falls from height. Falls can be prevented in many ways.
You can reduce workplace injuries by remaining proactive, identifying high-risk areas, avoiding distractions, staying aware of your surroundings, and eliminating hazards to reduce risks.
Download a PDF of this safety talk and an attendee sign-in sheet HERE.