Rise and Fall: Are You Protecting Your Workers From Slip- and Fall-related Injuries At Work?

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Hazards are everywhere – and construction, oil, mining exploration fields and other job sites are no exception. Every 7 seconds, a worker meets an accident on the job, according to National Safety Council. In fact, it is estimated to be 510 per hour, 12,600 a day, 88,500 a week and 4,600,000 a year! And for 9th consecutive year, fall protection tops the list of most frequently cited workplace safety violations, making trips, slips and fall, and falls from height a rising problem in every job site across the United States and around the world.

Do employers care?

It seems like business owners have been turning a deaf ear and are failing to address the same hazard that keeps on being named repeatedly year after year. Major life’s blows such as injuries, long-term disabilities, and deaths can be prevented if employers take full responsibility in ensuring that everyone in the organization follows the basic rules of workplace safety. It could not be more emphasized as significant because all workers, including supervisors and managers, desire to work in a safe and protected environment. After all, keeping one’s health is wealth. It is, without a doubt, a moral responsibility of business owners to look after the welfare of their people.

How to prevent slips and falls

Most people do not think about the consequences of slips until it affects them and their loved ones. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average hospital cost of a slip and fall is between $33,000 and $48,000 on average. Work sites are risky! There is a high chance that slip-related accidents will likely to happen when there is not enough friction between the feet and the surface. Spills, loose mats and wet or oily floors are common reasons of slip, and should not be taken for granted.

Here are a few ways on how to reduce the risks of slipping:

1. Keep paths and hallways free of unnecessary items. They could be debris, obstacles and clutter around the place.
2. Remove cables or cords in areas where people walk. They might look harmless, but when people come in contact with these cables, they immediately lose balance.
3. Place abrasive foot mats. They can help keep feet firm and not get slipped quite easily.
4. Wear anti-slip safety shoes. Slips can be avoided when people wear shoes that are appropriate for the environment.

Pisa, a safety footwear model from Aspida, is a lightweight and comfortable pair of safety shoes designed with comfort and safety in mind, thanks to its specially designed outsole that delivers excellent anti-slip protection all day. It has a composite toe-cap and Kevlar mid-plate that reduces weight of the shoe.

Aspida Pisa

Another feasible option for workers is the Verona model, also from Aspida. Like Pisa, it is comfortable as it is remarkably light, featuring anti-slip properties in the outsole. Both Pisa and Verona are certified to CE EN ISO 20345:2011. Which means these safety shoes have passed the most stringent safety footwear standards to have foot protection against a 200-joule impact, an amount of energy that the toe region can absorb before breaking.

Meanwhile, trips happen when feet hit an object that can cause the victim to lose balance. Studies show that falls are responsible for a majority case of hip fractures and even brain injuries. Holes, poor lighting, clutter in pathways, wrinkled carpets or mats and drawers are major causes of this type of accident. How can one avoid this? Here are a few recommendations:

1. Pay attention to the surroundings and see what can be done to keep the surroundings free of clutter.
2. Walk with feet pointed slightly outward. Make wide turns and use handrails on stairs if one needs to come up and down.
3. Secure carpets, rugs and mats.
4. Remove obstacles from areas like stairs and walkways.
5. Remove debris in the work area.
6. Wear the right footwear.

Both slips and trips are caused by unexpected changes in the contact between the ground and one’s feet. Consulting with safety footwear providers like MacroVista is helpful to find to right boot for work.

Full Armor: Getting PPE for Working from Height right

What do you do if someone falls from a height? How do you keep the person assigned to work 4 feet above the ground 100% safe? One mistake cannot be corrected by another. Employers must be prepared to keep their workers every time they could be exposed. Fatalities from height are generally a result of an accident. The good news is, it can be prevented even before it happens.

Which is why working above requires a suitable personal protective equipment namely a comprehensive fall protection program to address all areas that could be the cause for tragic falls, that includes slipping and tripping. Aside from wearing the correct pair of safety shoes, safety managers and EHS professionals must consider a full armor:

• Safety harness
• Self-retracting lifelines
• Vertical lifelines
• Horizontal lifelines
• Safety helmets
• And more

As there is no “one-size-fits-all,” companies must understand that if they will use the right system, they must choose the right equipment. Having been in the business of providing PPE for almost a decade, MacroVista offers industry advice, from assessing the entire situation to proper training on the use of work from height PPE.

1. It works with companies and review their environment and base its evaluation on OSHA compliance, providing recommendations for the right PPE and engineered solutions.
2. It can help in the selection of PPE that have been tested to industry standards like ANSI or EN, to deliver functionality without sacrificing material or design. Oftentimes, a slightly expensive equipment is more expensive because it has been made for worker’s utmost comfort.
3. It provides periodical inspections and audits to find out if the PPE remain in good shape and can be used again.
4. Clients are properly trained on the proper use of PPE to maximise the capabilities of the equipment. Not only is it required by law, but there is also too much room for error when a person does not have the knowledge to keep himself safe at height. The best time to train employees is now.

This page offers information on what type of fall protection the company offers to enable workers to get the job done and come home safe and secure.

Many slips and falls are avoidable with the right safety strategy

Safety is more than just a priority of every employer. It must be the goal to establish a lasting culture of safety at work. It is high time to remind businesses to take action and decide to make safe choices every day in order to spare workers unnecessary pain and misery.

Do you need information and advice on selecting the right PPE to avoid the hazards of slips, trips, falls and falls from height? Contact one of our Safety Experts today.