• Peter Kirby

Slips, Trips and Falls

put yourself in others shoes

One of the most common causes of workplace accidents and workers compensation claims is slips, trips and falls. It is also one the easiest hazards to eliminate or mitigate.

As we fast approach the winter months, the risks of slips, trips, and falls tends to increase across most workplaces. This is often brought on by poor artificial lighting, as well as having less daylight hours and the cooler weather contributing to prolonged damp surfaces.

An easy risk management activity is to conduct a site hazard inspection whereby you focus specifically on slips, trips and falls risks. Put yourself in others shoes that use your workplace. If it’s a school, think about the teachers and students moving between classrooms. Monitor their behaviours to see how they are using pathways and stairs. If it’s an Aged Care facility, how are the nurses and residents able to navigate corridors and stairs. Same goes for other industries.

Effect of extremes of temperature or humidity

In more extreme environments, ice and water or condensation will add to slips accidents. This includes when people are:

  • working in freezers and cold rooms,

  • using ice and iced products,

  • moving in areas with outside low temperatures, for example regions which experience frost or snow,

  • moving in areas with high humidity and condensation, for example kitchens, indoor pools, laundries.

Managing extreme temperatures

The best strategies to reduce risk in the more extreme environmental conditions includes:

  • remove ice build-ups,

  • check door seals,

  • prevent/reduce humidity,

  • provide slip-resistant flooring,

  • wear slip-resistant footwear.

Poor lighting and inability to see hazard

The most important areas to assess are:

  • steps and stairways,

  • where flooring surfaces change,

  • where spills and contaminants are possible,

  • areas used during the night/minimal daylight,

  • any area with known slip, trip, fall hazards.

Lighting improvement control measures

The best lighting provides an even distribution of light, both within and between different areas, so that people can clearly see the path of travel and safely undertake work activities. Regular maintenance and cleaning of light fixtures is also needed.

If your organisation requires assistance in identifying slips, trips and falls risks, feel free to reach out to the Better Safe Solutions team who are happy to help.

Stay Safe

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