Slips, trips and falls are a major source of liability in most work environments. They’re so bad, that falls on the same level were the second leading cause of all workplace injuries in 2011, costing more than $8.6 billion, according to the 2013 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index. Reducing slips, trips and falls should be a top priority for owners and managers, not only for safety purposes, but to save a lot of money in the long run. The key to reducing slips, trips and falls in your workplace is identifying the potential hazards and working to eliminate them. According to the ISSA, causes of slips and falls include:
- Wet, oily or contaminated floors
- Floor surfaces that are in disrepair
- Loose or unanchored mats and rugs
- Ice, rain, snow, dirt or other weather hazards
- Lack of employee training
- Inappropriate footwear
- Obstructed view
- Poor Lighting
- Wrinkled or loose carpeting
- Cables or cords in walkways
- Bottom drawers left oven
- Uneven surfaces
The good news is that proper cleaning and maintenance can help prevent most of these risks.
- Inspect floors regularly for spills and debris and clean them properly. That includes marking them with wet floor signs before sweeping and mopping.
- Check to ensure there are no cracks in hard flooring or wrinkles in carpeting. Make sure all mats are properly secured.
- Remove obstacles and clutter from walkways
- Make sure no cords or cables run across any walkways. If you need cords in certain places, make sure they are properly covered and marked with warning signs.
- Ensure working and walking areas are well-lit and all light bulbs are working properly.
- Install door mats inside and outside of doors. This will help reduce the risks of slips and falls during wet weather situations and reduce the amount of water and dirt tracked onto your floors.
- Make sure employees all have appropriate footwear. In restaurants, that should include non-slip footwear designed specifically for wear in kitchens and in potentially slick or oily situations.
- Improve employee training. Make sure everyone knows to pay attention to where she or he is going and not to run/rush, especially when floors could be slippery.