Slip and Fall Prevention Program
Slip, trip and fall incidents are the leading cause of accidental injury in the workplace, at home and in communities. Over 25,000 deaths are caused by falls each year in the United States, and the toll is increasing dramatically.
An aging population is a key contributing factor to the problem because older people are more at risk of falling and are more likely to sustain serious injuries when they fall. While no walking surface can be made completely “fall proof,” a formal slip and fall prevention program can dramatically reduce the risk of incidents.
Every organization is at risk for slip and fall incidents that affect employees and the general public. To help reduce slip and fall accidents and related costs, your organization should implement a comprehensive prevention program, which includes the following steps:
Assign Responsibilities for Slip Prevention Activities
Although slip and fall prevention is everyone’s job, you should designate a program coordinator to make sure all slip and fall prevention activities are completed in a timely manner. The coordinator can also be the go-to person for employees to report any slip and fall hazards they encounter.
Establish Slip and Fall Prevention Rules
Establish safety rules to prevent slip, trip and fall accidents. The rules will vary depending on your organization, but some basic rules include:
- No horseplay, running and fighting
- Clean up spills immediately; Protect spill areas if they cannot be cleaned up immediately
- Keep tools and materials out of walkways
- If you see a slip or trip hazard do something about it or report it immediately. It’s everyone’s responsibilities to identify and report slip and fall hazards
- Make sure scraps don’t accumulate where they will become a hazard; Good housekeeping helps prevent injuries
- Wear appropriate footwear for a task; avoid high heals or leather soled shoes and instead wear slip-resistant footwear at all times
- Monitor mats and runner to ensure they are providing proper slip resistance and don’t become a trip hazard
Train Staff to Prevent Slips and Falls
Train all employees on the various slip and fall hazards they may encounter, as well as on practices and procedures to reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents. Train maintenance staff on proper floor cleaning procedures, snow and ice management procedures, and appropriate use of warning devices or barricades.
Prevent Falls with a Walkway and Surface Audit
Inspect walking surfaces regularly, both indoors and out. If snow or ice accumulation is possible in your area, inspect outdoor walkways daily during the winter and early spring seasons. Keep in mind that pavement temperature, not air temperature, determines whether walkways are icy or just wet. Inspect hard-surfaced floors near building entrances frequently throughout the day during wet or snowy conditions.
Mitigate Slip and Fall Hazards
Implement immediate corrective measures to address any known slip and fall hazards. Short-term “quick fixes,” and warning or barricade devices may be appropriate until permanent repairs can be scheduled.
Investigate Slip and Fall Accidents
A formal accident investigation program helps quickly determine the root cause of any slip and fall accident and take prompt action to prevent recurrence. If a slip or fall incident occurs, first assess the situation and make sure there aren’t any injuries.
If there are injuries, makes sure the injured person gets the assistance they need. Regardless of if the injured person is an employee or not, fill out a slip/fall incident report.
Protect the scene of the accident to make sure no on else gets hurt and so an accident investigation can be conducted
Once a root cause is identified, take corrective actions as soon as possible.
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Disclaimer: This material is designed and intended for general information purposes only, and is not intended, nor shall be construed or relied upon, as specific legal advice.
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