5 Ways to Prevent Slips, Trips and Falls in the Workplace
Slips, trips and falls are a major cause of workplace injuries. In fact, according to the National Safety Council, Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Labor, 25,000 slip, trip and fall accidents occur daily, more than 95 million workdays are lost each year due to injuries and $70 billion is spent annually in medical expenses and workers’ compensation claims.
Those statistics are almost as painful as the injuries themselves. Luckily, as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Most of these unfortunate accidents are entirely avoidable if the proper steps are taken to promote safety underfoot.
It’s interesting to note that same-level falls account for 65% of all fall-related injuries, and according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, floors and flooring materials contribute directly to more than 2 million fall injuries each year! Clearly, keeping your building’s floors in tip-top shape and eliminating tripping hazards are crucial if you want to prevent your employees and customers from landing on the ground.
Here are 5 ways to make sure you don’t ‘slip up’ and cause an accident in the workplace:
- Follow routine floor and walkway inspection and maintenance. Repair holes, missing tiles, bricks and steps, loose carpeting and broken or uneven walking surfaces as soon as they occur. Also, annual professional cleaning will extend a floor’s life by reducing the effects of natural wear and tear and removing the buildup of residue from soap, wax and polish.
- Clean up spills immediately. Spills and standing water create serious slip and fall hazards. For small spills, a dry mop is usually all that is required to make the floor safe and dry again. For larger spills, use hot water and floor-specific chemicals. Once the floor is cleaned, place Wet Floor signs around the area until the floor is completely dry.
- Beware of slippery finishes. Polished and freshly waxed floors can be dangerous if the finish is not properly applied and maintained. High-speed buffing can significantly increase how slippery a floor is and should be done with caution.
- Keep floors clutter-free. Paths obstructed with extension and power cords, uncovered cables, open bottom drawers, office equipment, boxes and files are accidents waiting to happen. Make sure walkways are kept clear at all times to avoid trips and falls.
- Have a program for fall prevention. Each of your Team Members should have a clear understanding of how to react to spills and other potential trip and fall hazards and what to do if they encounter a fall or accident. Diligent and accurate reporting and documentation of injuries can help prevent them in the future.
Proper cleaning and floor maintenance is the first and crucial step toward eliminating slips, trips and falls in the workplace. If you need help keeping yours safe, give us a call or CLICK HERE to contact us. 4M Building Solutions delivers the best innovative, safe and sustainable cleaning and service solutions for your business.