On any given day, the injury rate for construction workers is higher than the national average for all other industries. Following these basic slip and fall prevention tips can help prevent you from becoming a statistic.
There are various ways to suffer slips and falls while working. You can slip and lose your balance, trip over objects left improperly on the ground or fall from a ladder or scaffolding. To avoid these mishaps, be on the lookout for tripping hazards such as:
- Water puddles
- Worksite materials
- Grease or oil
- Extension cords and cables
When entering a building from the outdoors or from debris areas, clean your footwear thoroughly. Snowy and rainy weather require a doormat at each entrance to allow for complete wiping of shoes.
Beware of tripping hazards—trash, unused materials or any object left in your way invites falls. Extension cords, tools, pipe and other items should be removed and properly stored away. If equipment or supplies are left lying around, report it. Keep passageways clean of debris by using trash barrels and bags.
Walk in designated walking areas. Concentrate on where you are going—horseplay or short cuts through the job site invites accidents. If you’re carrying a heavy load that hampers your ability to see properly, request spotting assistance from a co-worker.
The worst falls are from elevated positions such as ladders, and can result in serious injury or death. Learn and practice ladder safety and the proper use of scaffolding. For example, when climbing, use a ladder of proper length that is in good condition. Keep itplaced on a firm surface. Do not climb a ladder placed on machinery, crates, stock or boxes. Keep the ladder’s base one foot away from the wall for every four feet of height. Don’t over-reach. Always have control of your balance when working from a ladder. Never climb a ladder with your hands full, and always transport tools in their proper carrying devices.
Slips and falls occur every day. The extent of injuries and their recurrence can be minimized through proper safety knowledge, good housekeeping and practicing prevention.
REMEMBER: Make Safety the G.O.A.L. and Get Out And Look.