Although injuries resulting from slips, trips and falls are often easily preventable, they still occur frequently; these types of accidents can cause serious pain: everything from cuts and bruises to head injuries, back injuries, broken bones, sprains, and strains. There are many ways businesses can protect workers against slips, trips, and falls everywhere from the field to the production floor.
The proper assessment of a worksite and identification of potential hazards is the first step in preventing slip, trip and fall injuries. Employees should be appropriately trained to recognize potential hazards and how to report and/or correct them immediately. Some general tips in this respect include:
- Before beginning a new shift or work task, inspect the work area to identify, eliminate or correct hazardous working conditions.
- Work areas should be appropriately lit.
- Machinery or immovable objects that might cause someone to trip should be barricaded.
Appropriate “housekeeping” is one of the most important (and basic) ways to prevent slips, trip, and fall incidents. Some tips in this respect include:
- Keep walkways clean and free of debris or other tripping hazards.
- Remove tools, extension cords, or other items from walkways that might cause a tripping hazard.
- Clean up spills immediately.
Falls from ladders, equipment, and uneven surfaces can also be prevented through appropriate training and preventative measures. Some examples include:
- Do not dismount tractors, forklifts, or other equipment before the equipment has come to a complete stop and the brakes set. Appropriately dismount equipment using the handholds or rails.
- Be aware of slipping and falling hazards when working on raised platforms, and use caution whenever working at heights.
- Considerations for ladders include:
- Examine ladders to ensure that they are in good working condition before each use.
- Do not place one foot on the ladder and the other on an adjacent surface or object.
- Never jump off a ladder.
- Avoid using a ladder in wet or icy conditions.
A few additional tips to keep in mind when considering ways to prevent slip, trip, and fall incidents include:
- Wear appropriate footgear with good traction to decrease your chance of slipping and falling
- Afford employees with extra time for tasks conducted in muddy or wet conditions.
For more helpful information or workplace safety training, please contact Western Growers Insurance Services.
Western Growers Insurance Services is a full-service insurance brokerage offering a suite of insurance and tailored risk management solutions and training to agribusiness and related industry members. For more information or assistance, please contact Ken Cooper, Director Risk Strategy for Western Growers Insurance Services, at KCooper@wgis.com.
June has been designated as National Safety Month by the National Safety Council. This event is intended to increase awareness of workplace safety topics and reinforce our collaborative responsibility to keep each other safe. Safety is everyone’s responsibility!
This article is one of a four-part, weekly series following the topics designated for National Safety Month.
The topics are:
Week 1: Musculoskeletal Injuries – These are the leading cause of workplace injury and cost billions each year in workers’ compensation and lost productivity costs.
Week 2: Workplace Impairment - We all know the dangers of substance use on the job. Did you know that mental distress, stress, and fatigue are also impairing?
Week 3: Injury Prevention - In 2020 alone, more than four million workplace injuries required medical attention in the U.S. Focus on preventive measures can improve organizational efficiency and reduce costs associated with workplace injuries.
Week 4: Slips, Trips, Falls – A frequent cause of significant workplace injury and associated costs, these types of incidents are often preventable.
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