‘Slips, trips, and falls’ doesn’t evoke the fear that it should in the hearts of employers, so think about it this way.
Slips, trips, and falls are the most common type of accident in any establishment or workplace.
Slips, trips, and falls can result in head injuries, back injuries, broken bones, cuts, lacerations, and sprained muscles.
Slips, trips, and falls can result in injury claims which can severely impact a business or establishment.
Each weekday morning, there are more than 3.1 million teachers and 49.8 million students rushing into public schools. In hospitals, there is even more every single day when you take into account all employees, patients, and the friends and family of patients.
Long story short, in places where the sheer volume of traffic in and out is extremely high, if you don’t have the necessary safety measures in place, you are opening yourself up to a high risk of accidents or injuries, and potentially injury claims against you.
With the approaching winter weather season, this is a good time to review your procedures for maintaining your facilities and reminding staff and students of conditions that can lead to these types of accidents. To help you prioritise safety, here are 6 ways that you can reduce slips, trips, and falls in your establishment.
How to reduce slips, trips, and falls
1. Outdoor hazard inspection
It is important to inspect the exterior of your establishment regularly so that you can be aware of any potential hazards that could arise as well as repairing any ones that have. For example, these are the common causes of slips, trips, and falls outside:
- Slippery surfaces – rain, snow, ice, and mud can all cause surfaces outside to become slippery.
- Changes in elevation – curbs, cracks in the sidewalk, ramps and single steps are all examples of these hazards.
- Steps – check if they are in good repair, that the surfaces are even, and that they have secure handrails
- Insufficient/inadequate lighting – are all areas sufficiently lit so that changes in elevation can be seen?
2. Indoor hazard inspection
Just like outdoor inspection, you should also carry out indoor safety inspections regularly too. To reduce slips, trips, and falls, check everything that you did for the exterior of your establishment plus:
- Walkways – are they free of obstacles?
- Clutter – extension cords, bundling cords, carpets, bags, coats…all these are potential trip hazards, especially in traffic areas.
- Areas of moisture – kitchens, bathrooms, and every exit/entryway could be areas where moisture accumulates and becomes a slip hazard.
3. Implement anti-slip materials
If you have identified any trip and slip hazards (such as walkways, ramps, steps, and any slippery or uneven surfaces), you can reduce slips, trips, and falls in these areas by implementing anti-slip materials. Effective materials include:
- Entry carpets
- GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic)
- Anti-slip tape
- Anti-slip paint
Not only are all of these materials long-lasting and quick to install, but they are highly effective and cost-effective too when it comes to preventing and minimising accidents.
See more about our anti-slip materials here.
4. Have clear storage and hanging policies
The next step to reduce slips, trips, and falls is to enforce clear storage and hanging policies. In places such as schools and hospitals, improper storage methods could lead to injury and falls. To prevent unnecessary obstacles in walkways and cluttered rooms, implement proper storage and hanging policies and educate employees on the dos and don’ts.
5. Regular indoor maintenance
Even when you’ve identified all of your potential hazards and you’ve put in place all the safety measures that you need, slips, trips, and falls can still occur. How? Because with so much traffic and changes every day, new hazards can arise such as a spill in a classroom or rain spilling into the corridor from the outside.
It’s impossible to prevent every single hazard, but if you also prepare and plan for them, you are doing all that you can when it comes to injury prevention. Here are some things you should be doing regularly:
- Establish communication protocols to alert custodial staff of a hazard so they can arrive quickly on the scene.
- Provide custodial staff with the necessary equipment and barricades to keep people away from known hazards.
- Ensure custodial staff has ample cleaning and hazard removal supplies on hand.
- Educate all staff members on problems they should look for and solutions to help them prevent accidents.
- Regularly inspect indoors for hazards to maintain a safe environment.
6. Regular outdoor maintenance
Just like indoors, you should also establish a schedule to regularly maintain outdoor walkways and doorways to reduce slips, trips, and falls. Coordinating regular intervals for shovelling and salting, and for moisture and debris removal is an easy method to prevent injury.
Reduce your costs while maintaining a high standard of safety!
In establishments where there is a high volume of traffic, such as in schools and hospitals, revising safety protocols to minimise potential risks of injury must be a priority. Even if the budget is tight, there are cost-effective measures available so that you can maintain a high standard of safety. Starting small, consider using these 6 simple steps to reduce slips, trips, and falls in your establishment and see the results for yourself.
Let us help you prioritise your security and safety
At Applied Products, we are committed to helping schools, hospitals, and numerous establishments minimize their risk, offering solutions and resources to help build safe environments for staff and students alike.
Interested in learning how Applied Products can improve safety in your school and reduce your costs? Contact us today; we’d love to speak with you!
Applied Products – [email protected] / 01792 895730