How to prevent slips, trips and falls
If you’re a stunt double, a professional ice skater or a goal keeper, then falling over is all in a day’s work. You’ll wear protective clothing and will know the best way to do it without getting hurt. However, accidental slips, trips and falls cause injury all too often on construction sites.
In fact, they’re the most common cause of injury at work, accounting for – on average – 40 per cent of all reported major injuries. Key causes of slips and trips include:-
• Trailing cables
• Obstacles in walkways
• Slippery and wet surfaces
• Uneven floors
As this list suggests, the majority of work place slips, trips and falls could be prevented. In fact, with the right culture, procedures and products, it’s possible to create a safer working environment, where everyone takes responsibility for their own and each other’s safety.
Clean + Tidy = Safe....
Temporary wiring on the ground, cables dangling overhead, tools and supplies scattered at random all over the floor, spillages left while another urgent job is completed.
It’s a familiar picture, whether you’re in the construction, engineering or modular building sector. And when everyone’s busy and focused on getting the job done, taking the time to create order out of chaos is often not the top priority.
However, it’s when you’re most busy that you’re most likely not to be paying attention to your immediate surroundings… and that’s when accidents happen.
Follow these best practice tips to keep your site safe and tidy:
• Have strict processes when it comes to tidiness – And take steps to enshrine this culture throughout your workforce.
• Ensure that any spillages are dealt with immediately – And that you have the right products for dealing with them.
• Keep walkways clear of obstacles at all time – And have a designated area for waste.
• Use cable bridges to keep electrical cords and cables safely out of the way – Or cordless tools to eliminate the danger altogether.
Focus on floors....
And it isn’t just spillages that need your attention. You should also focus on the condition of the flooring itself – Or the ground, if you’re working outside.
• Have your temporary covering ready for slippery or wet areas – Or add stone or grit.
• Put up signs to let everyone know that an area is hazardous – And ensure that everyone knows that they should never run.
• Be aware of changes in level – Installing ramps in doorways is effective, for example.
• Provide lighting in dimmer areas – And signpost areas where surfaces are uneven.
Empower your team....
This good advice is all very well. But if your team isn’t on-board, then it’s almost meaningless. You need everyone in your place of work to take responsibility for themselves and each other. So not only do you need to introduce practical changes relating to your processes and procedures. You need to ensure that these values become part of your working culture.
Do this by:
• Holding training sessions - To educate your team about the dangers of slips and trips.
• Speaking to all employees on a regular basis – Ensuring they’re committed and re-enforcing the safety message.
• Instilling a sense of trust and strong communication - Between all employees and everyone on your site.
• Ensuring everyone takes pride in providing a safe working environment.
Know your legal requirements....
Last but not least, the legal stuff! As an employer, you have a number of responsibilities to help prevent accidents and injury in the workplace. The main ones you need to know about are:
• The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 – It’s the responsibility of employers to ensure the health and safety of employees, including taking steps to control slip and trip risks. Click here for a copy of what you need to know - companies must display this information in poster format that is visible to employees.
• The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 – You have to assess risks (includes slip and trip risks) and take action to address them if necessary. Click here for an overview.
• The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 - Floors must be suitable, in good condition and free from obstructions, so that everyone can move around safely. Click here for more information.
Follow our best practice guidance and you’ll significantly reduce the risk of anyone slipping or tripping at work... Because falling over is definitely not part of their job descriptions!
Products relating to slips, trips and falls....
From fixings and fasteners to tools, signs and cleaning products, you’ll get exactly what you want from our extensive product range, whenever you need it. Check out some of our slips and falls related products below:-
Safety Footwear click here
Rock Salt click here
Mobile Grit Bins click here
Stationary Grit Bins click here
Supports for trailing cables click here
Cordless power tools click here
Flooring protection click here
To full our full product range, click here