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Work Health and Safety Blog

There's so much happening in the world of health & safety. Changes in legislation and requirements, changes in best practice, changes in ... you name it. Here's my take on making it simple. Simply Genius WHS - stop guessing... manage with confidence.

Slips and trips – will you be next?

Maralyn Kastel - Friday, November 29, 2013

Slips and trips in the workplace account for thousands of injuries every year. These range from slight cuts and bruises to serious injuries including fractures, dislocations, muscular-skeletal problems, deep cuts and burns. Minimising and eliminating the risks associated with slips and trips is a practice that needs to include the following steps:

  • Identify any and all hazards
  • Assess the risks those hazards pose
  • Implement measures for risk control
  • Periodically assess for new risks and review risk control measures

Reducing the hazards of slips and trips vary in degree from workplace to workplace to protect the health and safety of workers, visitors, and customers alike. For example, a factory and a shopping centre share similar associated risks on a daily basis. In both cases it is important to make sure that all floor surfaces are well maintained and free of surface damage and obstacles. 

If any spills or leaks occur, then they are cleaned up quickly and the area appropriately blocked off from foot traffic until it’s completely dry. All areas are well lit and changes in steps/floor height are well marked. Goods and products are stacked and displayed to avoid potential injuries to workers and customers.

Proper floor treatments in both non-customer and customer based workplaces can greatly reduce the risk of slipping. To alleviate slips, treating floors to increase the surface roughness while maintaining levelness will reduce the likelihood of slips and falls. This can include:

  • Chemical etching
  • Resin coatings
  • Grinding
  • Placement of non-skid floor mats and anti-slip strips

Trip hazards can be eliminated or at the very least reduced in work places by making sure that everyone works to:

  • Keeping aisles, stairways, and other entry/exits clear of unnecessary obstacles and clutter.
  • Minimising power cords running along floors by installing power sockets/jacks in appropriate and handy areas, or hang over work areas if sockets cannot be installed.
  • Stacking all goods securely and avoid towering too high.
  • Cleaning the workplace, removing trash and all other obstructions as needed throughout the day.
  • Using signage and other visuals to warn of danger and to prevent accidents and injuries.
  • Training for all workers to practice good housekeeping measures particularly  how to recognise and reduce slip and trip hazards.

If you would like more information on health and safety management in the workplace, please contact us today.

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