Injuries from slips, trips, and falls can include sprains, bruises, concussions, fractures, and even burns and cuts. Further, in restaurants, bars, and pubs, slips, trips, and falls are the costliest workplace incidents. Pain and suffering, disability, stress, and even a loss or change of employment can result.
One-quarter of workplace injuries in restaurants, bars, and pubs are from slips, trips, and falls, costing the industry $20 million in claim costs in the last five years.WorkSafeBC
To assist employers in preventing slips, trips, and falls, WorkSafeBC has developed the following resources: Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls in the Workplace, and Kitchen Safety: Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls. These and other resources are available at: worksafebc.com.
These accidents not only result in injuries but also have a significant impact on businesses, leading to lost productivity and increased costs. However, by implementing some key preventive measures, we can create a safer work environment and mitigate the risk of these incidents. Let’s delve into some valuable tips to prevent slips, trips, and falls in the workplace.
Keep the floor clear of fallen objects:
A clutter-free workspace is essential for preventing accidents. Make it a habit to keep the floors clear of any objects, debris, or obstacles that could pose a tripping hazard. Encourage employees to promptly pick up and put away items after use, maintaining a tidy and organized environment.
Clean up spills immediately:
Spills, whether it’s water, oil, or other substances, significantly increase the likelihood of slips and falls. Establish clear procedures for reporting and addressing spills promptly. Provide spill kits and ensure that employees are trained in spill response protocols. By acting swiftly, you can minimize the risk of accidents and maintain a safe workplace.
Check pathways for obstructions:
Regularly inspect walkways and pathways to identify any potential obstructions. Drawers left open, supplies blocking the way, trash cans, or power cords can all become tripping hazards. Encourage employees to be vigilant and report any obstructions they come across, ensuring that pathways are clear and unobstructed at all times.
Be mindful of uneven floors and changes in level:
Uneven surfaces and sudden changes in floor level pose significant risks. Conduct regular inspections to identify and address any uneven flooring or level changes promptly. Consider using warning signs or barriers to alert employees to potential hazards until repairs can be made. By addressing these issues promptly, you can prevent unexpected trips and falls.
Implement and enforce footwear policies:
Wearing appropriate footwear is crucial for preventing slips and falls. Establish and enforce a footwear policy that mandates the use of slip-resistant shoes with good traction. Educate employees on the importance of proper footwear and provide resources or incentives to ensure compliance. This small step can make a big difference in preventing accidents.
Utilize handrails on stairs:
Staircases can be particularly hazardous if not properly used. Encourage employees to use handrails when ascending or descending stairs. Make sure handrails are sturdy and well-maintained. Additionally, ensure that stairs are well-lit and that any potential tripping hazards, such as loose carpeting, are promptly addressed.
Watch out for loose, torn, or worn flooring:
Damaged flooring increases the risk of slips, trips, and falls. Regularly inspect all floor surfaces for signs of wear, tears, or loose materials. Replace or repair any damaged flooring promptly to eliminate hazards. Employees should be encouraged to report any flooring issues they come across.
Report poorly lit areas or malfunctioning lighting:
Inadequate lighting can contribute to accidents by obscuring potential hazards. Encourage employees to report poorly lit areas or burnt-out bulbs. Ensure that lighting fixtures are regularly maintained and replaced as needed to provide a well-lit and safe working environment.