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Slips, trips, and falls are frequent causes of incidents both on and off the job. According to OSHA, slips, trips, and falls constitute the majority of general industry incidents and result in back injuries, strains and sprains, contusions, and fractures. Additionally, they cause 15% of all incidental deaths and are second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities.
What Causes Slips, Trips and Falls?
A slip occurs when there is too little traction or friction between the shoe and walking surface. A trip occurs when a person’s foot contacts an object or drops to a lower level unexpectedly, causing them to be thrown off-balance. A fall occurs when a person is too far-off balance. People slip on water or oil spills; they trip over small objects and electrical cords; and they fall off ladders, chairs, or down stairways.
There are many situations that can cause slips, trips, and falls and they can be prevented, but only if everyone does his/her part. First, always be alert to potential hazards in unfamiliar surroundings. Spot-check walkways and work areas to be sure that no trip or slip hazards exist. Even more importantly, when you find a fall hazard, make sure that something is done to correct it. The majority of slips, trips, and falls at work are caused by obvious hazards, most of which could have been easily corrected. Water and oil spills, small objects on the floor, electrical cords, and objects projecting out into walkways will eventually trip someone, so take a moment to eliminate these obvious hazards.
Tips for Avoiding Slips, Trips and Falls
Photo source: New York Times
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