Preventing Slip and Falls
Floor safety and it's impact
91 million workdays are lost due to slip and fall injuries each year. With all those slip and falls, about 90% happen when the person encounters a wet surface. That’s a huge number of accidents that could be prevented.
Besides tip-toeing across the wet area (which doesn’t work, although it looks funny) here are some things you can do to avoid slip and falls on a dangerous surface.
To start off – indoor floor surfaces. Whether it’s vinyl, tile, granite, marble, concrete or other, clean floors create great first impressions. Take extra care to follow good housekeeping rules to help ensure safety.
Keep a close eye on the last few best practices in the list below – did you know they are just as important to safety?
Indoor Floor Surfaces
- Clean spills as soon as possible
- Mop or sweep debris
- Remove obstacles from walkways
- Secure mats, rugs and carpets that do not lay flat
- Cover cables that cross walkways
- Keep working areas and walkways well lit
- Replace light bulbs when burned out
- Repair light switches that don’t work
- Keep one hand free to use the hand rail
- Keep stairs free of grease or other liquid
- Stairways should be well lit with sturdy walls
The outside of your building also creates a first impression and needs to be monitored to help ensure safety so people don’t slip, trip and fall.
Keep in mind the following outdoor safety tips:
- Remove obstacles from the walkway — trash cans and bags, boxes, equipment, loose rugs or mats, piles of debris
- Keep stairwells and walkways well lit
- Promptly remove snow, ice or other slippery substances
Preventing slip and falls doesn’t stop with good housekeeping or slip resistant shoes. Communication is essential to safety. Use wet floor signs to identify potential hazard areas. Before you begin mopping a floor, place wet floor signs at the start and end of area that will be wet. Do not remove the signs until the floor is dry. And, if you see wet floor signs, take caution! The signs are there for your safety.
For example, the image below shows an apparently clean and shiny floor, but is it wet? How would you know?