Slips, Trips, and Falls… Costly and Preventable

You may be surprised to find out that, according to OSHA, slip, trip, and fall injuries account for the majority of general industry accidents. They cause back injuries, sprains and strains, contusions, and fractures. They result in 15% of all accidental deaths.

Here are some staggering numbers to consider:

  • Every year, nearly 21,000 Americans die as a result of falls. More than from electrocution, drowning, and firearms combined.
  • Falls cost between $60 billion and $80 billion each year from litigation, insurance and comp claims, medical costs, and other indirect costs.
  • Falls account for more than 2 million emergency room visits each year
  • Falls are responsible for 1 death and 183 emergency room visits every hour!

Now that you know how dangerous and costly slips, trips, and falls can be, let's work on preventing them. The first step in preventing these accidents is learning how to recognize fall hazards, and making the effort to avoid them.

Recognize the Hazards
Ground-level falls often occur because of slippery surfaces caused by grease, water, or ice. Even sturdy, slip-resistant floors can become slippery if dust, water, grease, or metal shavings contaminate them. Other factors that contribute to falls are inappropriate footwear, poor lighting, and obstacles in walkways and on stairs.

The unsafe or incorrect use of ladders is also a common fall hazard. Climbing on chairs, boxes, or shelving to reach higher levels is an extremely unsafe practice that often leads to injuries.

Eliminate the Hazards
Making your workplace safer is easy. The first step is training your workforce to recognize, report, and help eliminate slip, trip, and fall hazards. Train them to clean up grease, oil, and debris; immediately report accidental spills; maintain dry standing areas for wet processes; keep walkways and stairwells well lit; and report loose carpeting.

When using ladders, be sure to set the base of the ladder one foot away from the wall for every four feet of ladder height; tie off the ladder or have someone support the base; never stand on the top two rungs; and don't climb with tools in your hand.

Making trip and fall hazards part of your regular safety inspections can greatly reduce accidents. Putting up safety posters warning about slip, trip, and fall hazards around your facility will serve as a constant reminder. By making small changes and training your staff, you can prevent injuries and save countless dollars.

If you have any questions how any of our products can help you prevent slips, trips, and falls in your facility, give our Technical Support Reps a call at 800-631-1246. They're here to give you the information you need to make the right choice.

Source: Safety Daily Advisor

Northern Safety Co., Inc.
PO Box 4250. Utica, NY 13504-4250
Phone: 1-800-571-4646
Fax: 1-800-635-1591

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