Numerous workplace accidents in Arizona are the result of slips, trips and falls. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 15% of all work-related fatalities across the U.S. are caused by slips, trips and falls, and falls are to blame for 17% of all debilitating occupational injuries. Oftentimes, however, these types of accidents may be prevented with a little care and caution. Using the tips may help you avoid suffering injuries that will keep you out of work.
What causes slips, trips and falls in the workplace?
Slips, trips and falls involving workers may be caused by any number of factors. Some of the most common of these include the following:
- Uneven floor surfaces
- Wet or slick floors
- Damaged or worn flooring
- Walkway obstructions
- Changes in levels
- Poor lighting
Additionally, cluttered work areas may also contribute to these types of accidents. As a result of slips, trips and falls, you may suffer sprains and strains, broken bones, head trauma and numerous other potentially serious injuries.
Wear appropriate footwear
Some flooring surfaces may be slick on their own, while others may become incredibly slippery when they are wet or there is dry product on them. It may seem that your primary concerns when choosing your footwear should be comfort, support and fashion. However, you should also consider your shoes’ soles and traction. Wearing shoes that are slip-resistant may help you avoid losing your footing on slick or slippery flooring.
Cover or guard all floor openings
In some work environments, there may be stairway floor openings, pits, trapdoors, chutes, hatchways and other openings. Ensuring that all stairway floor and other openings are guarded by railings on all exposed sides may help prevent you or other workers from falling into them. Additionally, you should use guards on all chute and hatchway openings, and cover any pit or trapdoor openings if they are not in use. When pits and trapdoors are being used, it is important that their openings are attended by a worker at all times in order to warn others of the danger.
Turn the lights on
It goes without saying that if you cannot see where you are going or what you are doing, you may be more likely to slip on something, trip over something or fall down. Therefore, you should use a light source that provides adequate light for you to perform your tasks whenever you are able. If you are working in a dark or dimly lit space, using a flashlight may help you shed some light on the area and avoid some work-related accidents.
Regardless of the environment that you are working in, clutter can cause more than just headaches when you are looking for something. If there is debris, tools or other objects around your feet or work space, you may slip on them or trip over them. Keeping your work area clean and free of obstructions may help you stay on your feet and prevent you from suffering potentially debilitating injuries on the job.
At home, in your car and at work, you, like others, are likely dialed in to your mobile and other devices. While this may be a part of your job or your normal routine, it can create issues in the workplace if you are not watching where you are going. If you are looking down at your phone, you may not see co-workers, spills, equipment or other hazards that could cause you to slip, trip or fall. Thus, when moving about your work environment, it is advisable for you to take your time and avoid behaviors that may distract you, such as text messaging or checking your social media.