There’s a bit of a chill in the air and the leaves are turning yellow, orange and russet. Yep, it’s fall and –just for it’s name alone –this is a good time to consider how falls impact workers and the workplace.
In only takes seconds. Your mind wanders from the task at hand. The floor is slippery because it was just mopped or someone left debris or clutter in the way. The next thing you know plummeting to the ground.
You may be hoping no one noticed, or you may be suffering worse consequence—a wrenched back, a sprained ankle or even a broken bone.
There are many things that contribute to slips, trips and falls, but unless you’re keeping an eye out, you may not notice them. There are wet or greasy floors, loose flooring, carpet or mats, uneven walking surfaces, newly polished floors, electrical cords and cables, open desk drawers or file cabinets and metal surfaces, such as docks –to mention just a few.
There are some tips you can follow to keep yourself and others safe.
It’s not rocket science. Making sure your workplace is clean can help reduce falls. Make a plan for what needs to be done and who will do it, and establish those housecleaning procedures as part of a daily routine.
Reduce wet or slippery surfaces
When a floor has just been mopped, display a “wet” sign, make sure mats or carpets have backings that don’t allow them to slip, keep sidewalks and parking lots clear of ice or snow.
Don’t allow hallways, passageways or aisles to become cluttered with debris, equipment, cords or anything else the might present a trip hazard. Walking through a hallway should not be like running an obstacle course for customers or employees.
Wear proper shoes
Wear shoes that are proper for the job. Skid-resistant shoes can help keep you where you want to be — on your feet.
Use proper lighting in rooms, staircases, walkways, docks, ramps and throughout your workplace. Keep the areas around light switches clear and easy to reach. Always flick the light switch on when entering a dark room.
This might be the hardest task to follow. It’s easy to become distracted when a call rings on your cell phone, you’re carrying a box or a stack of materials or you’re thinking about how to answer a customer’s needs. Staying aware of your surroundings can help you remain safe –and not in the hospital emergency room.
For more information on falls and their impact on work place safety, click here.