Uncovering Slip & Fall Hazards at Work
Updated: Jul 15
Identifying slip and fall hazards on the job can help employers minimize or eliminate the risks to keep workers safe from serious injury or death.
Steps Businesses Should Take to Avoid Falls
Businesses should start a formal audit of their premises to identify the fall risks. They should detect unsafe conditions, paying extra attention to floor safety, since that is where many falls happen. Companies should use the results of their audit to develop a list of action items and areas where they need to perform preventative maintenance.
Safety is a matter of metrics. They can tell senior managers where problems are happening and may happen next. Companies should review incident reports from all falls. They may detect common patterns of where these accidents happen. This could help them act in a predictive way to take steps to avoid future falls. For example, if the business has had multiple falls at the loading dock, it should focus its efforts on changing loading or unloading procedures.
Starting a Safety Culture
Every workplace could benefit from a safety culture, and it starts at the top. Management should set the tone, and they should encourage safety initiatives throughout the company. Having a contest for the best safety ideas from employees might be a good start.
For management, everything needs to begin with safety. Sometimes, this means accountability for senior managers when the trends and workplace injuries head in the wrong direction. Management should also give employees extra incentives to be safe and avoid falls. Building relationships with employees could give management more credibility and may mean that workers will follow safety instructions more.
Asking for Help
Outside vendors and sources may have ideas for reducing fall risk. For instance, the insurance company has a financial interest in reducing falls in the workplace since they pay the workers' compensation claims. Falls cost them money too. They may even offer free services to help their insured businesses improve fall safety measures, including safety audits of floor conditions.
Floorcare vendors may also be a source of help in determining what works best on surfaces to prevent falls. They could give ideas to reduce slippery conditions on floors. Improving safety may be as simple as changing the composition of chemical cleaners used on the floor to help increase friction.