Watching Out For Possible Danger
According to the Health and Safety Executive, slips, trips and falls are the most common cause of injury in the workplace. In fact, these types of accidents account for more than a third of all workplace injuries.
Sips and trips can be small accidents that only result in bumps and scrapes, but they also have the potential to be very serious. Employees can slip and endure serious spinal or head injuries, broken bones, bruises and cuts. Also, if the employee is carrying a heavy load or some dangerous material when they slip, the injuries can be even more severe.
It is the responsibility of the employer to make sure that the working environment is safe from the risk of slips, trips and falls. In order to reduce the risk of these injuries, employers need to conduct a slips, trips and falls risk assessment. This will help to identify where the potential for accidents can occur and how these accidents can be avoided.
Carrying Out a Risk Assessment
A risk assessment will help you to identify the areas that might cause serious accidents for example, you might look at the kitchen and see that it is prone to grease and water splashing on the floor and so is a likely environment for a slip or fall. A corridor where boxes and cables are stored could present a tripping hazard as another example.
Make sure that you look around at both the inside and the outside of the building. If there are slippery floor coverings or stairs, areas that could become wet or icy, obstructions or other hazards these should be looked at and addressed.
It is also important to think about who might be affected by these accidents. Which members of staff are most at risk for slips, trips and falls and how would these accidents affect them.
When you have identified these risks, you should look for ways to reduce the danger. For example, you should look to install non-slip flooring and remove obstructions from the floor whenever possible. Spillages should be cleaned up as soon as possible, trailing cables should be removed and wet floor signs should be in stock ready to be used when needed. You might even want to consider installing non-slip flooring or providing slip-resistant footwear for your staff.
Are your existing precautions enough to deal with these risks, or do you need to take more action to control the residual risks?
Sometimes spillages cannot be avoided, so in those cases you should adequately control the problem as quickly as possible by mopping up the spillage. Also there should be warning signs available so that people can be warned about the spillage. Staff should be trained to clear up spillages immediately, so that the likelihood of an accident can be reduced.
After completing a risk assessment, all of the significant findings should be recorded. The risk assessment should be reviewed on a regular basis if the circumstances of the workplace change and if it is necessary you should take further action. If you would like to lear to assess risk in your workplace then consider attending the IOSH Managing Safely or NEBOSH General Certificate industry recognised courses.
Ways To Prevent Slips, Trips and Falls in the Workplace
The old saying goes “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is especially true when it comes to workplace safety, because preventative measures can be very valuable when it comes to preventing serious accidents on the job.
There are many things that you can do to prevent slips, trips and falls from happening in your workplace. Here are a few important things to keep in mind:
- Prevent spillages and contamination from getting onto the floor, such as oils, water and other substances.
- If a spill does occur, control the contamination as soon as it happens.
- Do what you can to eliminate or protect against adverse environmental conditions such as rain and snow.
- Take a look at the floors in your workplace. How can you improve them so that they are more even and stable?
- If you have carpeting in your workplace, make sure that it is not uneven or lifted up in any areas.
- Make sure that walkways are properly lit so that any obstructions can be easily seen.
- What footwear do your employees wear? Can they wear something that is safer and less prone to slippage?
- Perform a close examination of your work activities. Contamination comes in a number of forms including saw dust, food, cardboard or fluids – so watch out for these risks.
- Consider how good design can prevent contamination and slipping hazards from getting on the floor, such as fixing the leaks in machines and fitting canopies over entrances.
These are just a few of the steps that you can take to prevent slips, trips and falls in the workplace. Of course, each workplace has its own specific dangers so proactive thought will be needed and advice from employees to be able to address all the possible risks. The aim of the slips, trips and falls risk assessment is to identify these dangers so that you can outline the specific things that you need to do in your workplace to prevent against these dangers.
A Positive Attitude Toward Work Safety
It is important for employees to have a positive attitude toward preventing slips and trips in the workplace. Are people in the habit of cleaning up after themselves? Do they use the bins? Or do they have an “it’s not my job” mentality?
In order for your workplace to function in a safe and healthy way for your employees, they need to have the right attitude when it comes to work safety. Make sure that you promote these safety measures in a positive way and provide positive encouragement when employees do things right.
Create a habit of timely and suitable cleaning routines that will help keep slipping risks from developing. Employees should be encouraged to let the manager know if they spot any slippage dangers in the workplace.
It is a very important responsibility of every employer to reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls. Perform a slips, trips and falls risk assessment so that you can identify the dangers and then determine what types of safety measures are necessary for preventing harm.