Every day, thousands of people suffer from falls that affect their quality of life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that falls cause more than 26% of injuries in the US, making them the most common type of injury. Falls are not just a problem for people who are elderly or have medical issues. Anyone can be affected by a slip or trip.
What is a slip, trip, or fall?
Slips, trips, and falls are accidents that can happen to anyone at any time. They are the leading cause of injuries in the workplace and account for a large percentage of workers’ compensation claims.
Slips occur when there is too little friction between your foot and the walking surface. This can happen if the floor is wet, oily, or polished. Trips occur when your foot hits an object or uneven surface and you lose your balance. Falls happen when you slip or trip and fall to the ground.
Most slips, trips, and falls can be prevented by paying attention to your surroundings and being cautious of potential hazards. Wear proper footwear with good traction to help prevent slips. Watch for obstacles in your path to avoid trips. And always use caution when walking on slippery or uneven surfaces.
What are the causes of slips and falls?
Slips and falls are one of the most common accidents in the workplace. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including wet or oily floors, cluttered floors, loose carpeting or floor mats, and uneven floor surfaces.
Slips and falls can also be caused by inadequate lighting, poor housekeeping, and wearing inappropriate footwear. Employees who work in areas where slips and falls are more likely to occur should be aware of the potential hazards and take precautions to prevent accidents.
What are the existing regulations to prevent slips and falls?
There are a variety of existing regulations to prevent slips, trips, and falls in the workplace. These include OSHA standards, as well as industry-specific standards.
Some of the key OSHA standards that address slips, trips, and falls include the following:
- General Duty Clause – This requires employers to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.
- Walking-Working Surfaces – This standard covers all flooring surfaces, including carpeting, tile, concrete, and more. It establishes requirements for slip resistance, surface roughness, floor openings, and more.
- Fall Protection – This standard establishes requirements for fall protection systems, such as guardrails and safety nets. It also includes requirements for training employees who work in areas where there is a potential for falling.
In addition to these general OSHA standards, there are also industry-specific standards that address slips, trips, and falls. For example, the construction industry has its own set of slip, trip, and fall prevention regulations. Employers in this industry must comply with both the general OSHA standards and the specific construction industry standards.
The reality is that slips, trips, and falls are the leading causes of injuries and fatalities in the workplace. By understanding the existing regulations and taking steps to comply with them, employers can help create a safer work environment for their employees.
What can I do if I’ve had an accident at work?
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