According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 244,000 workers sustained nonfatal workplace injuries caused by slips, trips, and falls in 2019. It’s always unfortunate when an employee suffers an injury on the job. It not only hurts the worker but can also damage your company’s reputation for occupational safety and cost you thousands of dollars in health care bills and potential workers’ compensation cases.
That’s why companies must do their part to prevent slips, trips, and falls for the safety of their employees—and their businesses.
Protect your employees and your business by assessing possible risks and implementing a fall prevention plan. Here, we’re going through six key ways to prevent slips, trips, and falls.
1. Keep floors dry
Did you know that slips and falls are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims? Floors can become slick after mopping or, worse, when someone spills something. No matter the reason, it’s always best to keep all floors as dry as possible to prevent slips, trips, and falls.
To prevent floors from getting too slippery when wet, you can also use anti-skid tape or put down floor mats.
2. Set up warning signs
Set up wet floor signs after a recent spill or if the floor is still drying after cleaning. It’s also wise to display these workplace safety signs in plain sight year-round so workers are warned of possible slippery conditions. It’s good practice to use signs to let employees understand that they are entering a high-risk area, and this is especially important for employees during inclement winter weather consisting of snow or ice.
3. Keep passageways and high-traffic areas clear
It’s easier to trip when the walkway is cluttered. Having various equipment, loose cords, materials, and other miscellaneous items lying around increases the likelihood of someone getting hurt. Frequently check the floors in your workplace, and remove any obstacles that could potentially be a trip hazard.
4. Provide proper lighting
Your employees need to see what they are doing, especially when working with potentially dangerous equipment or performing tasks on elevated surfaces. Walkways, stairways, hallways, and other areas should be well-lit during business hours to prevent slips, trips, and falls. It’s good practice to install motion-activated lights to ensure after-hours workplace safety, as well.
5. Provide hand and guard rails
Sometimes the only thing standing between a person and a deadly fall is a hand or guard rail. Ensure that you install these on all elevated surfaces, stairways, and high traffic areas where slips, trips, and falls could occur.
However, sometimes it’s not enough to install these. It’s essential to regularly remind employees to use the handrails as often as possible.
6. Require proper footwear
Some shoes aren’t appropriate for work, especially for employees working in more labor-intensive industries such as manufacturing or construction. Whether you make specific footwear a uniform requirement or offer workplace shoe suggestions to employees, it’s always a good idea for workers to have a reliable pair of non-slip, high-traction shoes.
Prevent slips, trips, and falls in your workplace
To recap, here are six ways to prevent these workplace injuries:
- Keep floors dry
- Set up warning signs
- Keep passageways and high-traffic areas clear
- Provide proper lighting
- Provide hand and guard rails
- Require proper footwear
Use these tips to mitigate the risk of common injuries at work and ensure employee safety in your workplace today.