The majority of reported accidents in the workplace fall into three basic categories: slips, trips and falls. Thankfully, most of these accidents are easily preventable by following some simple safety practices.
1) Concentrate when walking
Not being aware of your surroundings while walking around a workplace can cause you to slip, trip or fall. Avoid walking whilst using a mobile device (phone/tablet/PDA), as this could cause you to not notice a static or moving object or to slip on an uneven surface. Always stop in a safe area to operate your devices.
2) Avoid wet and slippery surfaces
Wet floors or spillage areas should be avoided and reported and, where appropriate, cleaned up immediately. If you have to walk on a slippery surface, wearing proper footwear for better traction, or using rails or another stable object that you can hold onto can reduce the risks of slipping.
3) Exercise caution when moving from dark to light spaces
Insufficient or poor lighting can make it difficult to see obstacles or notice changes in a walkway. Moving from well-lit to darker areas, or vice versa, can also reduce your ability to notice an upcoming hazard as your eyes adjust. Reducing speed and giving your vision time to adapt can increase your ability to identify a hazard before you encounter it.
4) Watch your step
Changes in elevation are a major source of tripping accidents. Even a change in walking surfaces (for example smooth flooring to carpet) may be sufficient enough to cause a trip. Uneven surfaces require extra care to assess the area prior to walking on or through it.
5) Always use the handrail on stairs
Climbing or descending steps and stairs causes nearly half of all falls. Ensuring that stairs are in good condition is essential to preventing accidents. Always use handrails and make sure stairways are well lit and clear of any obstacles. Never use a mobile display device when climbing or descending steps and stairs.
6) Good housekeeping is key
Proper housekeeping in working and walking areas can reduce the chances of slips, trips and falls in a workplace. It is important to maintain a safe working environment and a clean walking surface free of obstacles. Avoid stringing cords or lines across hallways or walkways. Regular, frequent inspections in working and walking areas should be conducted to identify environmental and equipment hazards which can cause slips, trips and falls.
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