Injuries and Illness

Slips, Trips, and Falls Prevention: Training Is Often the Answer

Often slip, trip, and fall prevention is a matter of simply training workers on what to do and not do. Here are some of those do’s and don’ts, and an innovative program to instruct in them.

With slips, trips, and falls the greatest source of nonfatal injuries each year in any accident category the federal government measures (more than a quarter-million a year resulting in lost workdays), it’s smart to do all you can to prevent these mishaps.

Yesterday we looked at two causative factors, which we compared to road and vehicle condition in a traffic accident. Those were flooring and footwear. Today, let’s look at the “driver” … or what the human element in your workplace can do to prevent these incidents.

Here’s a list from the BLR training program, Audio Click ’n Train: Slips, Trips, and Falls, and other sources.

Train in slip, trip, and fall avoidance with BLR’s professionally narrated PowerPoint, Audio Click ’n Train: Slips, Trips, and Falls. It’s easy, quick, and the audio soundtrack does most of the training for you. Read more.

  • Walkways. Employees should note that walkways are for walking, not storage of any item, and that includes tools or even temporarily opened drawers. It helps if walkways are clearly marked with painted lines, cones, or barrels as to their path and width. This also lets a supervisor immediately note if any object in the space is not supposed to be there.
  • Cables, cords, hoses. Rope-like items stretched across the floor act just like the landing wire on an aircraft carrier, but often with crash landings! If cables or other wiring need to cross a floor area, covers are available to create a ramp over them. At the least, tape them down, and post an elevated sign on a cone or pole that the hazard is there.
  • Wet areas. As noted yesterday, any moisture can drastically reduce the slip-resistant qualities of flooring. Spills should be promptly mopped up, and until the floor is dry, a sign should warn of wet flooring. In April (or any other month’s) showers, someone needs to be assigned to place rubber mats near doors. And to be sure floor and outdoor drains are clear of debris so they can do their jobs.
  • Dust or dirt, though dry, can also be slippery and should be swept up often.
  • Floor or wall openings. Where floors or walls have an opening a person could fall through, such as ladder entries or loading doors, OSHA (and good practice) requires guarding in the form of covering doors or hatches. Of course, these do no good if users don’t close them after use. Removable guardrails, found on some loading docks, must similarly be put back in place after use.
  • Stairs. Employees should be reminded to take it slow and use the handrails!
  • Safe walking. Even if all the above are carried out, employees still have to follow the old maxim, “Watch your step.” This is especially true if carrying a load, which reduces balance and can block visibility. Slow your pace on wet surfaces, and test your grip on ramps before proceeding. And beware of distractions. Most of us can walk and chew gum at the same time, but some fail (and fall) when gum chewing is replaced by an excited conversation on a cell phone.
  • Finally, make it clear that every employee has an obligation to either fix a hazard or to report it to a supervisor.

    Employers who face these hazards (and most do) have asked us to recommend a good training program to avoid these incidents. That’s BLR’s Audio Click ’n Train: Slips, Trips, and Falls, from which most of the above information comes.

    A professionally-recorded soundtrack commands trainee attention. BLR’s Audio Click ’n Train: Slips, Trips, and Falls has one … and a whole lot more! Click for more info.

    In 26 full-color PowerPoint® slides with professionally recorded audio narration (no need to narrate them yourself) your workers will learn all of the above and a lot more. Plus, the program comes with both interactive exercises and a reproducible handout to reinforce the learning.

    It also supplies signup sheets, a trainer’s guide, completion certificates—really all you need to train effectively and perhaps prevent that next major “slip-up.” And because it’s a PowerPoint, it’s customizable with your own company’s specifics.

    The fact that the price is low (under $150), BLR totally guarantees it, and you can return it with no questions asked and us paying the postage, is no small matter either.

    If you’d like to order it on that basis, click one of the order links above, and we’ll get it right out to you.