As employers have a duty of care to provide a safe workplace for their staff, it’s important to understand what dangers your workplace poses. If you’re working in construction or trade services, that means looking out for any hazards that could cause slips, trips and falls. Here are some of the most common causes of slips, trips and falls in the workplace.
Hazardous floor surfaces
Many of the most common causes of slips, trips and falls in the workplace can be attributed to hazardous floor surfaces. These include:
- Uneven or rough surfaces
- Surfaces that are smooth and slippery, including polished or shiny tiles
- Any spills, including water, oil or ice
- Lack of drainage, which causes a build-up of liquid and waste on floors
To mitigate these risks, ensure that adequate barriers are put in place to prevent falls and that ample warning signs are located on hazardous surfaces. Also, encourage your workers to wear proper footwear and hard hats at all times.
Poor housekeeping is another of the most common causes of slips, trips and falls in the workplace. This includes:
- Objects obstructing entrances and corridors
- Bad waste management systems that cause clutter in the workplace
- Poorly maintained floors, which cause cracks and uneven surfaces
- Inadequate electrical management systems, which mean cords become trip hazards
Regularly cleaning and up-keeping the workplace, as well as ensuring all cords are kept out of the way, are simple solutions to these common problems.
Bad lighting is one of the most common causes of slips, trips and falls in the workplace. Dimly lit workplaces obscure visibility, which can mean that your employees cannot adequately assess any trip or fall hazards. Even worse, it means that their peers won’t be able to see them.
Putting extra temporary lighting in dimly-lit spaces can often make the difference between life and death. Also, ensuring your staff are wearing high-vis workwear will help prevent accidents in low-vis situations.
Working from a height
Working from a height is one of the most common causes of trips, slips and falls in the workplace; as well as one of the deadliest. Working from a height includes:
- Using ladders or chairs to access out-of-reach objects or storage areas
- Climbing down ladders while carrying objects
- Unloading objects from trucks
- Working on higher levels or mezzanine areas without fall protection
To keep your staff safe while working from heights, ensure that they are using the correct fall protection.
For all your industrial workwear and safety gear needs, contact NECA, the safety specialists.