We have covered the hazards associated with falls in the past. Obviously, the reason is the severity of injuries associated with falls. But we've focused primarily on elevated falls, whether from a ladder or a roof. But slips and trips are another kind of fall, though usually less serious, that happen with significantly more frequency.
The numbers are an eye opener. According to the University of Florida, more than a million people were injured from a slip, trip or fall in 1999. This resulted in 17,000 deaths and of that number 5,100 were classified as falls from height. That leaves a whole lot of people slipping and tripping to their death.
Paul Bureau is a MEMIC Safety Specialist who sees too many workplaces that are rife with a slipping and tripping exposures. Some of his manufacturing clients deal with wet floors, cutting oils, housekeeping deficiencies and other hazards.
In the food service and hospitality sector, wet and greasy floors, housekeeping, and power cords (vacuum cleaners!) cause considerable pain. The first step for anyone who evaluates safety hazards is: "Can we engineer the problem away?"
In that vein, Paul has been focusing on educating management teams in the use of slip-resistant footwear and industrial mats. The goal of both is to provide high friction in work areas that are slippery.
Some tripping exposures, especially the electrical cords, are a constant issue no matter the industry. Training, re-routing, and identifying and covering are the most popular ways to minimize exposure.
Vist these websites for slip-resistant footwear and industrial mat products: