Fall Protection Safety Talk
In the workplace one of the leading causes of serious injuries and even death are falls. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health or NIOSH in 2018 27% of the nonfatal work, injuries were related to slips, trips, and falls in the workplace.Falls are a hazard found in many workplaces.
A fall can occur while someone is walking, climbing a ladder, or simply trying to fix something. Falls are the leading cause of general workplace accidents and the injuries can range in severity. Some people only experience bruises, swelling while others have reported head injuries, broken bones, and lacerations.
Causes of Falls in the Workplace
In every workplace the risk for falls is present, the only difference being the factors that can lead to the fall. Employees can do acts that are considered unsafe as well as unsafe workplace conditions. When a fall occurs it can be because of both of these factors combined. It is important to try to prevent falls before they happen.
Unsafe conditions in the workplace can make it easy for an accident to happen. Some of these conditions include:
Sometimes falls happen because of unsafe actions of employees that can often be avoided. These include:
Fall Protection Best Practices
Performing a risk assessment by a qualified member of the staff in workplaces areas will assist in identifying hazards. This in turn can help reduce the risk of accidents. You can also reduce the potential hazards that lead to slips, trips, and falls by proactively managing your workplace environment to help lower risks to employees and customers.
1. Walking Surfaces
Keep walking surfaces clean and free of clutter. If you keep walkways clear you can quickly reduce the potential for injury. An obstructed path minimizes the opportunity for anyone to trip over an unexpected object and reduces the potential for a fall or slip.
2. Stairways and Handrails
Stairs are a common area for falls in a workplace and sometimes additional care is needed to reduce the risk here. Make sure stairways are well lit, clear of objects and debris, and free of unsecured objects. Do not run or jump on the stairs and only take one stair at a time. Always use handrails when climbing or walking downstairs.
3. Manage Cords
From extension cords, power cords, internet cords, phone cords, machine cords, and every other cord they can create a sea of obstacles for employees and customers alike. Try to keep cords out of the site and behind walls or furniture. Never have cords running across a walkway.
Make sure you are wearing the proper footwear for the job you are performing. Open to shoes should never be worn in a factory setting. Shoes with proper traction should always be worn as well as slip-resistant shoes.
Proper lighting inside and outside of your work area should always be used. Never try walking in the dark. Steps and tripping hazards can be hidden if a room is dark or has a shadow this is why lighting is important.
If you know of a potential problem, try to make sure there is adequate signage there. A sign indicating a step, a gap, uneven ground, or even loose rocks will call attention to the area and let others know to be more attentive. If you know the floor is wet even a wet floor sign can help others from potentially falling. If you see an area needing a sign please alert your supervisor.
7. Ladders and Step Stools
Use ladders and step stools with caution. Get someone to hold the bottom of the ladder when you are climbing. Never stand in a chair or on a desk or table to reach something.
8. Check Floors
When you are walking make sure you pay attention to the ground. If you see a crack or a hole try to avoid this area. Point these areas out to your supervisor so they can look into getting them fixed.
9. Clean Up Spills
If you spill something, clean it up immediately. Do not leave it for someone else to do. When a spill occurs immediately place a hazard sign near the spill and get to work cleaning it up properly.
Employees should follow certain rules when using ladders. Whether they are climbing up the ladder or climbing down, the same ladder safety rules apply.
Fall Prevention Is Your Best Protection
Remember falls can be prevented. They are often due to someone being careless or clumsy. It is critical to pay attention to what you are doing and to survey your work area for potential hazards. If you see something that needs attention, let a supervisor know immediately. If you slip, trip, or fall at work no matter how small you think your injury is you should also advise your supervisor.
See how this toolbox talk works in the app
• Choose from a pre-loaded library (or upload your own)
• Schedule and assign topics for any project
• Store digital attendance sheets in one place
There’s an easier way to find and give toolbox talks—try it free for 15 days.