Many of us spend a significant amount of time throughout our lives on our feet, walking from point A to point B multiple times throughout the day. From the moment we get out of bed, we start exercising our lower body muscles and coordination to complete tasks such as getting to work, running errands, or any one of our other daily routines.
Due to the frequency and complexity of this everyday task, it is surprising we do not fall more often than we do. I am sure you have guessed by now, this blog is related to slips, trips, and falls.
Slips, trips, and falls allot to a high percentage of workplace lost-time claims according to WCB Alberta. The statistics show that 20.5% of lost-time claims are the results of falls, with 13.9% of workers falling on the same level, 6.0% falling to a lower level, and 0.6% are related to miscellaneous types of falls. As we all know, slips, trips, and falls are not only an issue at work. Anywhere and everywhere poses a hazard for us to lose our footing or twist an ankle.
Many people consider these hazards to be minor, thinking that it is not going to happen to them. Odds are they may be right, but the thing about playing the odds is that eventually, you are going to lose.
How to prevent slipping, tripping, or falling.
The goal is to prevent these events from happening, so how do we do that? A little planning and awareness can go a long way to keep yourself free from injury and minimize the potential for the same event to happen to someone else.
Good housekeeping, quality of walking surfaces, walking at an appropriate pace, and the selection of proper footwear are the fundamentals for preventing slips, trips, and falls from occurring. Examples of these fundamental principles can include:
- Cleaning spills immediately
- Keeping walkways free of clutter or obstructions
- Securing mats, rugs, and carpets that do not lay flat
- Wearing appropriate footwear for the job or task
- Changing or modifying walking surfaces
- Slow down and paying attention to where you are going
- Making sure there is sufficient lighting
- Making sure that things you are carrying or pushing do not block your vision
No workplace is safe and protected against slips, trips, and falls. If we do not recognize the hazards and work together to mitigate them; they will continue to be one of the leading causes of lost-time injuries at the workplace.