Slip, Trip, and Fall (part 1): Safety Topic - February 2018 - Week 4


Monday - Slips, Trips, and Falls

Slips, trips, and falls are some of the highest reported workplace injuries; therefore, it is important that we make sure to take action on preventing these types of injuries.

The most frequent causes of slips, trips and falls are:

  • Mats that are loose on the floor and have a tendency to bunch up causing a tripping hazard. Ensure mats are properly placed where they cannot be bunched by a moving door that they can catch on.
  • Weather conditions such as rain, snow, and ice.
  • Uneven surface areas like a heaving sidewalk or concrete floor that causes change in surface area levels can cause you to trip and fall. The trip may occur because you were not aware of the change and you did not change your stride and speed of walking to overcome the hazard in front of you.
  • Obstruction such as clutter and debris or blockages in walk ways that you may have to maneuver around that could cause injury if you are not aware or unable to see what’s in front of you.
  • Improper ladder use. 
  • Spills that are not marked with a caution sign and cleaned up immediately may cause injury.
  • Improper footwear in the workplace.
  • Cords and cables when it requires running either of these in the line of normal foot traffic. They should always be covered with a cable protector. These are available in bright colors to allow for easy spotting.

Tuesday – Preventing and Avoiding Falls

  • Pay attention and maneuver slowly when you are walking.
  • Always walk with your toes pointed slightly outward so that your foot covers a bit wider surface area and helps in maintaining balance.
  • Take wide turns around corners and don’t rush.
  • Make sure you are not carrying anything that obstructs your line of vision 
  • Make sure there is sufficient lighting and replace burnt bulbs promptly.
  • Housekeeping will help make sure things are not in the way. If this is your common work space you may find that you are used to the hazards around you and you are aware of how to get around them safely, but remember others are not. Take a step back, check things over, and decide is there anything you can improve on and change to make your environment safer.

Wednesday - Exertion and Ergonomics

Another common work place injury is overexertion when lifting and the improper use of lifting techniques.

Types of injury include:

  • Sprains – The over stretching or tearing of a ligament
  • Strains – The stretching and tearing of tendons and muscles

Overexertion occurs in many forms from lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, or other handling that exceeds the limits of your body’s capabilities.

Thursday - Proper Lifting Techniques

  • Assess the weight of the load you are about to pick up. Try giving the item a little push to estimate weight. If you decide to pick up the item, ensure you have a good way to grip it.
  • Maintain a neutral spine. DO NOT use your back to lift the item; make sure to look up and forward, this will help in keeping you in line.
  • Lift the load with your legs and keep it close to your body.
  • Make sure to stabilize your body and look ahead of you for any obstructions in your path.
  • Avoid twisting your body and remember do not lift any load over 35LBS. For heavier loads, seek assistance from another person or use a proper lifting device.

Always have a plan when moving an item. How much weight am I lifting? How far is this load going? What will be in my way while carrying this load? What is the surface condition like where this load is going? 

Friday - Free Speech Friday

Have you ever had a slip, trip, or fall and what were the extent of your injuries? How could it have been prevented? What were the contributing factors that led to this injury such as rushing, not being aware of your surroundings, or your choice in handling the load? What advice would you give to a new employee based on your experience to help them perform the tasks correctly?

Tags: safety topics , injury prevention , osha training basics ,

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