Stay safe… and on your feet

Jan 08, 2010

 

Each year slips and trips result in more than 11,000 serious injuries involving fractures and sprains, representing around 38% of all major injuries.
 
Geoff Kirk, manager at the Milton Keynes office of insurance broker Bluefin, outlines some useful advice to lessen the risk of injury.
 
“Slips and trips occur just about everywhere, in factories and on construction sites, in restaurants and shops, in offices and car parks,” he says. “No workplace is entirely free of the risk of a slip or trip.”
 
How to prevent slips and trips
 
Floor surface:
The floor surface has a significant effect on the risk of slipping. Nonslip surfaces may be essential in some circumstances. If you have the chance, specify a non-slip surface when buildings are constructed.
 
Alternatively, make sure you do not miss the opportunity to install non-slip surfaces, potentially during upgrades and renovations.
 
Contamination:
Spills, leaks and escape of liquid and oil, even packaging can lead to slipping or tripping. Prevent escapes and fix leaks.
 
Obstacles:
When tools, equipment, packaging and similar are allowed to be stored in walkways the risk of tripping is greatly increased. Trailing cables are a real menace. Make sure housekeeping is up to scratch.
 
Footwear:
Make sure employees who are at risk of slipping, such as those who work outside or in cold stores, have suitable shoes. Of course, you will not always be able to control footwear, for example, for customers in a shop.
 
People:
Behaviour can result in many slip and trip accidents – when people run, the risk of falling is greatly increased. Train people in safe behaviours and monitor them to make sure bad habits do not return.
 
Environment:
Matters such as lighting level, ice on external paths in the winter, or rain water that is trodden into a shop by customers can all give rise to slipping. Take steps to ensure that these risks are identified and controlled.
 
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