Slips, trips and falls constitute the majority of general industry accidents, cause 15% of all accidental deaths, and are second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities.
With those stark realities, it’s crucial for employers to guard against these preventable accidents. And despite all of American employers' best efforts, slips trips and falls:
A December 2018 survey of almost 1,300 safety professionals, carried out by Safety Daily Advisors, found the "big three" causes of slip, trip and fall incidents are:
While you can put in place stringent safety procedures, require fall-protection equipment, and install non-skid surfaces, there is one thing that is hard to control: the human factor.
That's why it's important to instill in workers the importance of:
But it doesn't pay to tell them once. Regular reminders can help instill safety mindedness like the above.
Slippery surfaces a major challenge
Slippery surfaces are one of the biggest challenges a business faces in protecting both its employees and customers. It's important to know where slippery surfaces are likely to occur. You should pay special attention to these high-risk areas:
Conduct walkway audits to identify safety issues, so that you can develop plans to eliminate them. The plans need to account for varying weather conditions.
Besides those physical aspects, also remind employees to wear proper shoes when it's raining and not to rush when walking in those areas during rainy days.
The problem is that walking is something we do almost automatically and these days many people are distracted, reading and texting on their smartphones while walking, or maybe lost in thought about their weekend plans.
Distraction results in blindness to their surroundings. Moreover, their emotions, sense of urgency, fatigue or complacency can take over.
But training your employees to be more mindful in areas with slip, trip, and fall hazards is not as simple as telling them to "pay attention" or "don't get distracted."
Behavior-based safety approach
Changing behavior is not easy and it takes time and commitment, but the best solution is a behavior-based safety approach.
The first step you need to take is to help your employees become aware of unsafe habits and analyze their mistakes. They should:
It will take time and effort to change employees' perception of risk and personal responsibility. But with a proactive approach that builds a culture and fosters an attitude and behavior that puts safety first, workplace injuries will be reduced.
On your end, you can: