Slip and fall accidents are the number one type of accident in the work place. Like most types of hazards, these are so dangerous because they occur when you least expect them to. Areas which are slippery, but are marked clearly with signs are very rarely the location of an accident. It is essential, therefore, to be able to identify places where slips and falls are more likely to occur, and label them clearly. This is actually more difficult than it might sound, but it is possible with a little creative thinking.
The first thing any safety manager should do is make sure the right products and equipment are in place to deal with slip and fall hazards. The best solution when a hazard is found is to eliminate the hazard itself. If, for example, there was a spill of water or another slippery substance, it should be cleaned up as quickly as possible. When it is impossible to eliminate the slippery area quickly, or at all, then it is important to put up signs to notify people of the risk.
There are many different things which can be done to help identify potential slip and fall risks in a facility. Taking the time to look through different areas with this type of risk in mind is one great way to find potential problems. Looking at these types of areas in all different weather, and during all different seasons is very important. An entry way may be perfectly safe when it is hot and dry out, but when the weather turns color or rainy, it can be a different story.
Another important way to ensure all dangerous areas are clearly marked, is to have a system in place where people can report hazards quickly and easily. Whether this is done over the phone, via email or face to face doesn’t matter, as long as the hazard is reported. Once these risks are reported an individual should go out to the area immediately to put up warning signs. Depending on the severity of the risk, they can also shut down access to the area until the problem is resolved.
In many facilities is it possible to allow all employees to access to the safety signs and materials. If someone causes a spill, or notices one has occurred, they can just put up the sign themselves. This is the fastest way to identify risks and alert others to them. They can then report the spill to the proper area so it can be cleaned up as quickly as possible.
Preventing Slip and Fall Accidents
While alerting people to potential slip and fall hazards is great, it is important to go a step further. In areas which the risk of having spills or other things causing danger is high, taking preventative action is the smart move. At doorways to the outside, for example, many facilities will put down floor mats which help people to retain their footing even when the floor is wet. This is a great way to prevent slip and fall accidents from occurring before the area is even slippery.