Prevent same-level slips, trips and falls

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Slips, trips and falls can result in sprains and strains, cuts and bruises, broken bones, and more. Here’s how to help prevent these types of incidents.

Slips and trips

How do slips and trips happen? “Both slips and trips result from some kind of unintended or unexpected change in the contact between the feet and the ground or walking surface,” the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety notes.

Slips occur when too little friction or traction is present between a worker’s footwear and the walking surface, CCOHS states, adding that common causes of slips include wet or oily surfaces, weather hazards, loose rugs and mats, and flooring that lacks traction.

Trips occur when a worker’s foot makes contact with an object, resulting in a loss of balance and a fall. Common causes of tripping include poor lighting, obstructed views, uncovered cables, uneven walking surfaces and lower drawers being left open.

Practice good housekeeping

Following good housekeeping procedures will help reduce slips and trips. Housekeeping tips from CCOHS include:

  • Keep floors mopped and debris swept up.
  • Remove obstacles and clutter from walkways and stairways.
  • Clean up spills immediately.
  • Secure mats, rugs and carpets that don’t lay flat.
  • Keep file cabinet or storage drawers closed.
  • Cover cables that cross walkways.
  • Keep working areas and paths well-lit.

Wearing the correct footwear is another way to help prevent slips and trips. CCOHS advises consulting with footwear manufacturers to find the right shoe or boot for the job.

For more tips, visit ccohs.ca/oshanswers/safety_haz/falls.html.

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