Loss Control Insights

Slip and Fall Site Surveys Reveal Common Problem Areas

slip and fall

Slips and falls are a leading cause of workplace accidents in terms of frequency and severity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Injuries resulting from these accidents not only increase operational costs, but also contribute to indirect costs such as higher insurance premiums and lost productivity. EMC loss control professionals like Daniel routinely visit policyholders to assess their slip and fall exposures. According to Daniel, regardless of the type and size of organization, a site survey usually reveals four common problem areas.

  1. Inadequate Matting
    A single mat is not enough to prevent tracking water and dirt into your building. EMC recommends a “three lines of defense” matting strategy:
    • Start with an entry scraper mat to remove snow, slush and dirt off
      of shoes
    • Place a scraper/wiper entrance mat next to the entry doors in the direction of the traffic flow to remove excess moisture
    • Use additional wiper entrance mats to capture any remaining dust and moisture from shoes
  2. Ineffective Curb Markings
    Unpainted curbs and curbed ramps along high-traffic areas may be difficult to see, creating a trip hazard. EMC recommends painting curbs and curb ramps with brightly colored slip-resistant paint. In addition, consider reworking curb areas by installing a curb ramp with flared sides and contrasting colors.
     
  3. Lack of a Slip and Fall Prevention Program
    Organizations should adopt a comprehensive slip and fall prevention program because no walking surface is completely risk free. The program is valuable in assessing risks and needs, establishing communication procedures, providing training, conducting worksite analysis, correcting unsafe conditions and performing accident investigations.
     
  4. Improper Footwear
    Employees often wear inadequate footwear for the task performed. Train employees to wear slip-resistant footwear designed for the work environment. Open heels, spiked heels and flip-flops should not be allowed. Employees assigned to work on wet or oily surfaces should be equipped with slip-resistant shoes featuring a multidirectional tread pattern to minimize hydroplaning and a softer rubber sole to help grip hard surface floors.

All too often, Daniel hears policyholders say, “I didn’t realize that was a hazard.” EMC is happy to provide an outside pair of eyes to not only identify slip and fall hazards, but recommend cost-effective strategies to reduce the risk. “It’s truly amazing to see the impact these fixes can have on the number of claims,” Daniel concludes.

Count on EMC® for more slip and fall resources.

Slip and Fall Prevention For Employees Online Training
Slip and Fall Prevention Checklist
Slip and Fall Incident Report
Slip and Fall Prevention Tips
Slip and Fall Prevention Guide
Slip and Fall Risk Assessments