Untitled Document

Slips, Trips and Falls Prevention
in the Workplace

How Do Slips, Trips and Falls Occur?

Fallen Man Stick Figure

Slips, trips, and falls occur when there is too little friction or traction on a walking surface, when a foot or lower leg hits an object while the rest of the body continues to move, or when the center of balance is lost resulting in a descent to the floor, against an object or to a surface at a lower level than the original surface.1 These incidents are often caused by slippery, irregular or uneven surfaces, obstacles on the floor or uncovered/unidentified hazard areas.

Hazards relating to slips, trips and falls are frequently top offenders on OSHA's top 10 violation lists. In 2015 alone, slips, trips, and falls were tied to three of the top ten violations, and two of the top three. These violations included hazards relating to fall protection (#1), scaffolding (#3), and ladders (#7).2

Slips, Trips and Falls Guide

Slips, Trips and Falls Guide

This free guide provides tools and resources that will help you learn about slips, trips and falls prevention in your workplace. Get it today!
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OSHA Standards that Help Prevent Slips, Trips and Falls

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.22 and 1910 Subpart D - Walking-Working Surface

This standard supports worker safety by keeping workplaces clean and safe from hazards, including:

  • Keeping facilities clean, orderly and dry
  • Providing draining, platforms, mats or other dry standing places when wet processes are used
  • Keeping floors and workplaces free from protruding nails, splinters, holes and loose boards
  • Keeping aisles clear and in good repair
  • Permanently marking aisles and passageways
  • Using covers and guardrails to protect workers from open pits, tanks, vats, etc.
  • Marking loads with approved plates and maintaining safe load weights
  • Safety requirements for scaffolding and ladders construction and use

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.36 & 37 - Means of Egress

This standard supports the safety of exit routes. Some of the key elements that apply to slips, trips and fall in this standard include:

  • The outdoor exit route must have guardrails to protect unenclosed sides if a fall hazard exists
  • The outdoor exit route must be reasonably straight and have smooth, solid, substantially level walkways
  • The outdoor exit route must be covered if snow or ice is likely to accumulate along the route, unless the employer can demonstrate that any snow or ice accumulation will be removed before it presents a slipping hazard

Slips, Trips and Falls Statistics

We mentioned that slips, trips and falls violations are linked to a number of OSHA violations that appear in their top 10 list but that isn't the only alarming stat related to these hazards. In addition to vital safety implications, slips, trips and falls also have significant productivity and financial impacts on your business.
Safety impact

They account for...

Safety Impact
...approximately 8.9 million emergency room visits3
...15% of all accidental deaths (second leading cause behind motor vehicles)4
...17% of all disabling occupational injuries5
Prodcutivity impact

They lead to...

Productivity Impact
...1 in 6 lost time injuries3
...95 million workdays per year lost6
...an average of 11 days away from work7
financial impact

They can cost...

Financial Impact
...an average of $20,000 per incident8
Slips trips and falls infographic

Slips, Trips and Falls Hazards in your
Workplace Infographic

For information on how and where slips, trips and falls can occur in your workplace, check out this handy infographic.

Slips, Trips and Falls Prevention

You wouldn't be here if you didn't think slips, trips, and falls prevention was important. You also should know by now the implications of not taking the right steps to complying with OSHA's Walking-Working Surfaces standard and the potential dangers associated to non-compliance. Now, let's outline each step that you can take to prevent slips, trips and falls hazards.
Shoe Prints
  1. Assess Your Workplace
  2. Mark Aisles and Passageways
  3. Provide Traction on Slippery Surfaces
  4. Improve Stair Safety
  5. Mark Emergency Evacuation Routes
  6. Post Safety Signs and Labels
  7. Warn of Temporary Hazards
  8. Inspect Scaffolds and Ladders
  9. Control and Clean Oil and Spills
  10. Train Employees
For an in depth look at each of these steps, download our "Slips Trips and Falls Guide"
Checklist

Prevention Checklist

Taking the time to review your current safety program and ensure you have the right practices, training and response plans in place is critical to preventing and reacting to slips, trips and falls occurrences. This checklist will help you identify potential gaps in your plan.

Helping Injured Man

Building A Response Plan

Despite our best efforts, accidents sometimes happen. In the event that a slip, trip or fall does occur at your workplace, you need a plan that allows everyone to act quickly and effectively. When you're creating a response plan here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:

1. Provide assistance

This may sound like a given, but many times in the heat of the moment, those who immediately respond to an emergency may not know what to do. Make sure there is a clear and easy way to provide first aid or call for emergency medical assistance.

2. Report the incident

The appropriate personnel within your work place need to have a system in place to record slips, trips, and fall incidents. Furthermore, these incident reports should be kept to review common incident areas and provided to your insurance company.

3. Find ways to avoid the incident in the future

This is when you can identify area of training, different products or signage needs, and housekeeping practices that should be used to ensure employee safety and compliance to OSHA standards in the future.

 

 Brady Products Available to Aid in
Slips, Trips and Falls Prevention and Awareness

Safety Signs

Safety Signs

Slip, trip and floor obstacle hazard signs will allow you to bring awareness to potential dangers in your facility such as, spills, ice, uneven floors and more. These signs will provide a permanent visual warning in areas where slips, trips and falls hazards are more likely to happen.
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Floor Stands

Floor Stands

Similar to safety signs, floor stands provide a strong visual that can be temporarily placed to identify potential slip, trip and fall hazards. By placing the sign on, over or in the way of the hazard, you can naturally create awareness and even divert foot traffic from entering potentially dangerous areas
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Scaffold Tags

Scaffold Tags

Our scaffold tags comply with OSHA's regulations and will help warn employees when scaffolding is not safe. It will indicate if scaffolding is being taken down or has been found defective.
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Floor Marking Tape

Floor Marking Tape

Make your facility cleaner, more efficient, more visual and safer with ToughStripe floor marking tape. This tape will help you identify aisle ways, hazardous areas, storage areas and more.
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Floor Marking Tape

Toughstripe Floor Tape

Make your facility cleaner, more efficient, more visual and safer with ToughStripe floor marking tape. This tape will help you identify aisle ways, hazardous areas, storage areas and more.
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Absorbents

Absorbents

Our absorbents will help you address spills, drips and leaks that can lead to slip hazards. With high absorbency power and easy disposal, having absorbents on hand will allow you to very quickly address wet floors. Additionally, our sorbent products extend out to mats and rugs allowing you to address foot traffic that may bring snow, water or ice into your workplace.
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Think laundered cloth products are more cost effective than disposable sorbents? Think again! The savings will surprise you. Download our Absorbent Cost Calculator
Sources:
  1. OSHA. (2007). Slips, Trips & Falls Identification & Prevention. Retrieved from: https://www.osha.gov/dte/grant_materials/fy07/sh-16625-07/slipstripsfalls.ppt
  2. ISHN. (2015). OSHA's top 10 violations for 2015 announced at NSC Congress & Expo. Retrieved from: http://www.ishn.com
  3. National Safety Council. (2011). Slips, Trips and Falls Fact Sheet. Retrieved from: http://www.nsc.org/NSCDocuments_Advocacy/Fact%20Sheets/Slips-Trips-and-Falls.pdf
  4. OSHA. (2007). Slips, Trips & Falls Identification & Prevention.
  5. OSHA. (2007). Slips, Trips & Falls Identification & Prevention.
  6. Smith, S. (2013, July 15). The High Costs of Slips, Trips and Falls. Retrieved from EHS Today.
  7. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2014). Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Requiring Days Away from Work, 2013. Retrieved from BLS: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/osh2.pdf
  8. National Floor Safety Institute. (2015). Quick Facts. Retrieved from NFSI.org: http://nfsi.org/nfsi-research/quick-facts/