Slips, Trips, and Falls Safety Talk

There are usually hazards on the jobsite that can cause slips, trips, and falls. Learn how to avoid them and how to prevent injuries.

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Slips, Trips, and Falls Toolbox Talk

Construction sites are full of many hazards but most workers seem to forget about slips, trips, and falls. It is reported that nearly 15% of all accidental deaths are from incidents related to this. These types of accidents are also extremely costly to an employer and account for almost $11 billion with costs related to them. As a worker on a construction site, there are several precautions you can take to prevent an injury from a slip, trip, or fall. We will be looking into these a little further.

Common Injuries

According to the 2013 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, falls caused by slips and trips were the second leading cause of injuries and fatalities in the workplace. The number one cause is motor vehicle accidents. Slips, trips, and falls continue to be a leading cause of emergency room visits for many workers. Some common injuries include broken bones, cuts, strains, sprains, back injury, and even traumatic brain injuries.

Causes of Slips, Trips, and Falls

Some common cause of these types of injuries include:

  • Wet or oily surface
  • Weather hazards including rain, snow, and ice
  • Loose mats and rugs
  • Walking surfaces that are not level
  • Obstructed views
  • Poor Lighting
  • Clutter
  • Uncovered wires and cables
  • Prevention of Injuries

    There are ways that you can keep your worksite safer for you and your coworkers. One simple way is to practice good housekeeping, clean up as you go. Other ways include wearing slip-resistant shoes, being careful when walking on uneven surfaces as well as surfaces that are wet.

    Good Housekeeping Includes:

  • Cleaning up spills immediately
  • Mark areas that have spills and are wet until they are cleaned and dry
  • Mopping or sweeping debris from walking surfaces
  • Make sure walkways are free of clutter and obstacles
  • Securing mats and rugs that are not laying flat
  • Covering cables and wires that cross walkways
  • Making sure the work area and walkways are well lit
  • Clean your area as you work don’t leave the mess for others to clean
  • Check for fall hazards daily and alert your foreman if you see something
  • Have a laydown yard for extra materials and keep it picked up
  • Good housekeeping is an easy way to prevent most slips, trips, and falls and it is often overlooked. Simply cleaning up your work area as you go can help on the job site.

    Walking Surfaces Tips:

    Slips, trips, and falls can happen on any walking surface but, if that surface is uneven or if it is made of materials that provide little traction this chance can be increased greatly. Ways you can improve your walkways on your construction site can include:

  • Make sure there are mats or pressure-sensitive abrasive strips
  • Ask for the flooring to be replaced or painted if you notice it creates a hazard
  • Pay attention to where you are walking
  • If you notice a walking surface that is uneven or that needs some work bring it to the attention of your foreman so they can correct the issue if it is something you can not do. Also, make your coworkers aware of the hazard to decrease the risk of someone else getting hurt.

    Footwear

    The footwear you chose to wear to a worksite has a huge impact on if you are safe. You should not wear tennis shoes on a worksite, always wear work boots. Your work boots should be the proper fit with treads to reduce the risk of slips, trips, and falls. To reduce your risks:

  • Wear work boots that fit snugly and that have slip-resistant soles
  • Clean the treads of your shoes regularly
  • Inspect the soles of your work boots and make sure they are intact and that you have proper treads
  • Walking

    How you walk can have a big impact on your risk of slips, trips, and falls. When you are walking there are some ways to reduce these risks. This includes:

  • Take your time and do not run
  • Pay attention to where you are walking
  • Use light sources such as flashlights or installed light sources if your walkways are dark
  • Make sure if you are carrying materials or moving materials that you can see the walkways in front of you
  • Always look for spills when walking
  • Fall Prevention From Heights

    A construction worker is more likely to get hurt by falling while pushing a wheelbarrow full of materials than they are while standing on scaffolding. However, it is still important to know how to prevent falls from heights above ground level. Some of these safety tips include:

  • Always use fall protection for heights over 4 feet.
  • Use proper guarding for holes and windows.
  • Use guardrails when needed.
  • Use adequate fall protection such as a full-body harness with a retractable lanyard that is 100% tied off to an approved anchor point.
  • when climbing ladders make sure to use proper techniques.
  • What To Do If Injured

    If you are injured on the job site you should alert your foreman immediately. If you have a serious injury that requires immediate medical attention call 911 or have a coworker call for you. Should you see that a coworker has been injured do your best to notify someone and get immediate medical attention for them. While some slips, trips, and falls may seem minor at first it is always better to get fully checked out. Sprains and strains to your legs, ankles, and back are common with falls on a worksite. Broken bones are also common and need to be treated as soon as possible.

    A common safety hazard on construction job sites are slips, trips, and falls but they can be prevented with some safety measures. Make sure you are always aware of your surroundings and where you are walking. Also if you see a hazard let your coworkers and foremen know immediately. Working together to keep your worksite clean and hazard free is the best prevention. Should you have any questions about hazards on your job site or what to do ask your foreman.

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