Caution slippery when wet

Slipping And Tripping: Not A Laughing Matter

Published January 1, 2018

There is something about slipping and falling that makes other people laugh. Even those who consider themselves sympathetic can’t deny they laughed when they saw it in a movie or their favorite cartoon.

Whether it’s just because the sudden loss of control makes people act in a funny way or it also has something to do with irrational feeling of relief we weren’t the ones that slipped, most people will agree that it is wrong to laugh in these cases.

Falls can be a serious thing. As a matter of fact, they are counted among the most common reasons of injuries at work. At Alsco, experts in the field of work safety work hard to find the best way to prevent this type of incidents.

Figures show that millions of people suffer work-related injuries or illnesses every year, while the three occupational groups most at risk are Labourers, Machinery Operators and Drivers, and Community and Personal Services workers.

Most interestingly, around 15 percent of the total of workers who injure themselves at work suffer their injury as a result of falling on the same level, a category that includes slipping and tripping.

So, what can be done to make such simple mishaps become a rarity, if not a thing of the past completely? Well, for both slipping and tripping there are a variety of measures that can be taken to achieve this aim.

We’ve put together a shortlist that can help you on your way.

5 Easy Ways To Prevent Slipping

  • Be sure to regularly service any machinery to reduce the chances of leakage. You could also add containers to capture any condensation and spills.
  • Invest in special work area matting. These are designed to resist oils and water so workers standing on them won’t slip while working.
  • Use water absorbent floor mats at all entrance areas to soak up any dripping rainwater from clothing and umbrellas. These are designed to handle large volumes of traffic and can be easily laundered and replaced by your supply company.
  • Designate areas for wet umbrellas and overcoats to be kept, but ensure they’re away from busy traffic routes. Keeping them close to the entrance minimises the potential wet area created.
  • Make sure there is easy access to cleaning-up equipment. These include mops, cloths, absorbent paper for oil substances, and portable ‘Caution’ signs.

5 Easy Ways To Prevent Tripping

  • Keep your workers aware. Many people trip when they are not paying attention or are distracted. So, use visual aids in high risk areas (storeroom), on stairs and remind your staff to do their bit.
  • Where flooring type changes suddenly (like concrete to carpeting), ensure the levels are evenly matched. With carpets or tiling, make sure the edges are secured to prevent dog-earing or warping.Keep working areas, aisles and corridors clear of items so there is nothing to trip over. Provide separate storage areas for boxes, tools and equipment. Ensure cabling is neatly tucked way. Carry out clean-ups regularly.
  • Keep the floor surface as consistent as possible, so cover floor power sockets, remove ridges and flatten inclines (if possible).
  • Reduce the need for cabling by installing extra power sockets and in more convenient places. Where cabling must cross traffic routes, place them overhead rather than across the floor.

Further Action

It stands to reason that even if you apply all of the measures listed above, you won’t be able to completely eliminate the risk of your employees tripping or slipping in the workplace.

Incidents will happen even in the safest of workplaces, as it’s impossible to deal with all the scenarios in which an incident can take place.

However, if you want to do more than what was suggested in the lists above, you can consider making changes to working procedures which will result in even more safety for your employees. This is not a simple task. It is pretty time consuming and it will likely require you to appoint some of the employees to keep track of the progress and monitor the execution instead of you.

In its assortment of products for companies, Alsco offers a selection of safety mats which can be extremely helpful. If you place them at strategically important places, these mats will help prevent incidents, while at the same time protecting flooring in the areas of the building where it is most necessary. Alsco mats are available for a two-week free trial so you can give them a risk free try!

Photo courtesy of Pexels Images by Skitterphoto

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