Last week, we shared with you three of the most common causes of workplace injuries: overexertion, contact with objects and falls. Although injuries can be part of a daily routine in a work day, it doesn’t mean that they can’t be prevented. How can employers improve safety at their workplace by reducing these common incidents?
In this blog, we are going to provide you a general overview on slip and falls work injuries and how you can reduce these incidents to keep your employees safe.
There are two different types of falls incidents that can occur at the workplace:
The first category includes falls at the same level, resulting from slips and trips. Employees can experience falls and get injured when there is wet and slippery surfaces, spilled objects on the floor, fixed objects in the path, cracks, uneven surfaces, among other things.
The second category involves falls to a lower level. Some examples include falls from heights such as roofs, ladders, trees, scaffolds, stairs or when a structure or equipment collapses.
In 2018, there were approximately more than 240,000 work injuries and 744 deaths caused by slips, trips and falls in the US. NSC’s data shows that 147,390 workers were injured and 135 died resulting from falls at the same level. By contrast, 52,510 workers resulted injured and 591 died caused by falls to a lower level.
In addition to this, most recent data of the CDC shows that 26% of all non-fatal work injuries resulting in days missed from work resulted from slips, trips, and falls. On the other hand, the BLS says that trips, slips and falls are within the six main causes of fatal workplace accidents. In fact, falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry according to OSHA.
How can you prevent slips trips and falls at your workplace?
No one should be at risk at work, much less if falls can be prevented. We have prepared 5 useful recommendations that you can place at your work for reducing falls, slips and trips:
- Ensure safety through planning. When it comes to working at heights like in construction, it’s really important that employers plan projects to ensure activities will be performed safely. You need to consider what kind of equipment will be necessary, what are the conditions of the work areas and surfaces and even check the weather forecast.
- Make sure your work area is in good condition for employees. Slips and trips can be significantly reduced by practicing good housekeeping, having well organized areas as well as having proper lighting.
- Encourage your employees to be aware of their surroundings. Employees can easily be distracted if they are not paying attention to potential hazards. For example, if they are looking at their cell phone or something else while walking.
- Provide the right equipment and maintenance. Another measure to prevent slips, trips and falls is providing proper footwear according to work environment conditions. Also, make sure to clean it of any snow, ice, mud in order to maintain it in good conditions. In the case of work at heights, employers have to provide the right equipment to perform the job safely, such as proper ladders, scaffolds and fall protection PPE.
- Provide safety training. Make sure that every worker is properly trained. Not only do they must know how to use the equipment but also have to be able to recognize hazards on the job.
In addition to looking for potential hazards and risks that lead to fall incidents, we believe that employers need to re-think their policies, safety procedures and consider technology solutions that can add value to workplace safety.
Kwema helps companies to prepare to respond to any emergency by providing safety wearables to employees who are exposed to potential risks and hazards such as slip, trips and falls at their workplace. When employees are in danger, they can activate an emergency protocol alerting safety supervisors or 911. Moreover, our technology is designed to avoid adoption hurdles and training costs.