Did you know that 43% of serious injuries at work are a result of slips, trips and falls? Or that one quarter of all over-seven-day absences and injuries are caused by accidents too?
Did you know that falls often account for the biggest workplace fatalities and that hundreds of people die each year due to workplace accidents? That’s not even mentioning that approximately 4.5 million working days are lost due to workplace injuries!
Whether you knew any of these facts or not, there’s no denying that slips, trips and falls are the most common workplace accident and that measures need to be taken to prevent them.
As an employee, it’s your duty to protect your employees and customers by making sure that you abide by all the Health and Safety regulations and requirements of the workplace. To make sure that you are doing all that you can, here is everything you need to know about how to stop trips, slips and falls in the work environment.
Industries at High Risk
Although accidents and injury can happen anywhere, there are certain industries that have a higher probability of them occurring than others. Example of industries at high risk include:
Cleaning & Hospitality
When you think that these industries have a higher rate of leaks, spills, hot liquids, hard surfaces, sharp tools, insufficient cleaning and poorly placed items, it’s no surprise that accidents are a more common occurrence.
Steps to Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls
1. Identify hazardous areas
There are a variety of factors and situations that may cause a slip, trip or a fall, so your job as the employer is to identify these in your workplace and implement measures to prevent them from happening in the first place.
The way to manage this is by carrying out a risk assessment. That way, you can evaluate the steps you already have in place to protect your employees, improve them, and identify any new areas that you may need to apply them to.
When carrying out an assessment, it’s always useful to:
- Ask your employees – they are working on the floor all the time so may notice things that you don’t and they may even have a suitable safety idea for prevention.
- Make a checklist of hazards – this allows you to track what hazards there are, how much of a risk they are and if there are any safety measures in place.
To help you identify potential hazards, here is a list of common areas where accidents tend to occur:
- Floors that are wet, greasy or have recently been polished or waxed
- Dry floors with wood dust or powder
- Areas with loose flooring, carpeting or mats, or where one floor type transitions to another
- Walking surfaces that are uneven or sloped (ramps and gangplanks)
- Walkways that are cluttered, contain electrical cords or cables
- Steps, particularly damaged or irregular steps or ones with no handrails
- Damaged ladder steps
- Metal surfaces — dock plates, construction plates
- Fire escapes
- Cold storage areas
- Outside – usually due to weather hazards (rain, sleet, ice, snow, hail, frost, wet leaves or pine needles)
2. Choose the appropriate anti-slip materials and implement them in the workplace!
There are many things that you can do to reduce the occurrence of slips, trips and falls from creating and promoting good housekeeping practices among your employees to implementing signage, footwear requirements and safety measures. See our blog 9 Quick Tips to Help Prevent Slips, Trips and Falls.
However, the best way to stop them all together is by implementing effective prevention methods throughout your workplace. The best prevention materials include:
- Anti-slip Floor Sheets / Glass Reinforced Plastic Plates
- Anti-slip Nosings
- Anti-slip Grating
- Anti-slip Tape
- Anti-slip Paint
- Entrance Matting
All slip-resistant materials are long-lasting and quick to install, not to mention a highly-effective and cost-effective solution to preventing accidents. Easily fitted to walkways, gangways, disabled access ramps, factory floors, bridges, landing areas and platforms, employers can easily minimise the risk of slips, trips and falls just by simply implementing these floor level safety measures.
IS YOUR BUSINESS AS SAFE AS IT CAN BE?
If you need any help or advice about anti-slip measures, don’t hesitate to get in touch; we’d love to help! Applied Products can help you abide by health and safety legislation and keep you and your employees safe.
Applied Products – [email protected] / 01792 895730