Slips, trips, and falls (STFs) are a leading cause of workplace injuries year round, and in winter the dangers increase. Icy sidewalks, frost-heaved walk surfaces, wet entryways, and dark stairwells all contribute to potential STFs. Property owners and employers can both be held liable for injuries that occur on the premises or while working, especially when they don’t take appropriate precautions.
Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself and the people who visit and work in your facilities.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the top 10 slip, trip, and fall hazards are:
Nearly every facility and workplace presents opportunities for slips, trips, and falls. Prevention begins with understanding the problem, assessing your facilities, developing a prevention plan, providing appropriate remedies, and reassessing periodically.
Using the list of top hazards and OSHA’s guidelines in the Code of Federal Regulations, Subpart D (29 CFR 1910.22.30), assess each area of your facility for potential slip, trip, and fall hazards.
Your prevention plan should include a list of all potential hazards within the facility, as well as a list of remedies and procedures for each, plus a communication plan for ensuring all employees are aware of correct procedures.
Execute on your prevention plan by providing the appropriate remedy for each type of hazard present. For instance:
Over time, wear, tear, weather conditions, and human error can cause new slip, trip, and fall hazards to arise. Include routine reassessment as part of your STF prevention plan.
Don’t let the winter get the best of you. Take steps now to ensure your workplace is safe for employees and visitors. It’s not only an OSHA requirement, it’s the right thing to do.
You may have internal resources who can perform your assessments, develop your plans, and provide appropriate remedies. Or you may prefer to hire a reputable firm to handle everything. GLE has been assessing and developing safety plans for property owners and employers for more than 20 years. We would love to answer your questions about the easy way to ensure compliance, today.