Slips, Trips, and Falls toolbox talk
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Slips, trips and falls are a common reason for many of the injuries in workplaces. They can cause minor injuries but can also lead to serious, long-term injuries. Many slip, trips and falls are avoidable and there are usually easy solutions a workplace can apply to control the risk, either by eliminating or minimising it. It could be as simple as cleaning up a spillage straight away, or moving a cord off a walkway which can prevent injuries from occurring.
Why run a Slips, Trips, and Falls Toolbox Talk?
- Prevent unnecessary injury from slip, trips and falls by improving awareness and training
- Fewer injuries means higher productivity
- Makes sure workers know what to look for and what to do about it to reduce the risk of an injury occurring
What to watch out for that are common causes of slip, trips and falls?
- Poor housekeeping & messy sites
- Poor lighting
- Uneven walking surfaces
- Clutter on site
- Uncovered cords and cables
- Weather conditions (e.g. rain, ice, dust)
- Obstructed views
- Unsuitable footwear
- Distractions (e.g. cell phone, other workers)
What can you do to help prevent slips, trips and falls occurring?
- Keeping work areas clear & tidy from clutter, obstructions and rubbish
- Any waste placed in designated bins
- Clean up any leaks or spills immediately
- Put tools and equipment away
- Wear suitable footwear (e.g. grippy, anti-slip)
- Ensure work areas are well lit and sufficient light for work
- Keep cords and cables out of walkways, covered or secured
- Be aware of your surroundings and focus on what you are doing
- Work to the weather conditions
What if a slip, trip or fall occurs or nearly occurs?
- Report all slip, trip and fall accidents and near misses, with or without injury, this will help identify the hazards and implement control measures to prevent reoccurrence
- Simply cleaning up your work area as you go, can help reduce slip, trips and falls
- Make sure you are always aware of your surroundings and look where you are walking
If you see a hazard that has the potential to cause a slip, trip or fall then pick it up or fix it – don’t wait for someone else to do it. Do it yourself!
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Slips, Trips, and Falls
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Slips, Trips, and Falls Safety Talk
Slips, trips, and falls are one of the leading causes of injuries and fatalities in the workplace. According to OSHA, slip, trip, and fall incidents cause 15% of all accidental deaths and are second only to motor vehicle incidents as a cause of fatalities on the job. These types of incidents can result in life-changing injuries to the employees who suffer them.
Common Slip, Trip, and Fall Incidents
- Falls from elevation are often deadly or result in serious injury and may include falls from ladders, falls off of mobile equipment, falls from roofs or other elevated structures, etc.
- Slip incidents on slippery surfaces such as snow and ice are common in colder geographical areas in the U.S. Wet floor conditions or spilled liquids are also common causes of slip incidents at work.
- Trips can be caused by a multitude of reasons, including poor housekeeping , changes in elevation, poor lighting conditions, improper footwear, etc.
Mitigation Actions to Prevent Slip, Trip, and Fall Incidents
- Always use fall prevention or protection for work over 4ft in general industry work and 6ft in the construction industry. Protect workers by using proper guarding of any holes or open windows and use guardrails to prevent falls. Where guardrails are not feasible, use adequate fall protection. An example of adequate fall protection is a full-body harness and a self-retracting lanyard attached to an approved anchor point with 100% tie-off.
- Proper housekeeping is very important in preventing slip, trip, and falls incidents. Objects on the ground create a hazard for anyone walking or working in the area. Maintain clearly defined paths for walking in the work area. Maintain organized laydown yards for tools and equipment out of the way of employee foot traffic.
- Address any wet, slippery, or icy walking surfaces in your work area. Post signs of any hazardous surfaces until the situation is taken care of completely.
- When climbing up or down a portable or fixed ladder, ensure that you use proper techniques, such as using three points of contact and keeping your belt buckle within the sides of the ladder. Do not lean to reach objects- this can throw off your balance, and you could fall.
-Are there trip hazards due to improperly placed objects in your work area?
-Has anyone or a close family member of yours experienced a severe fall? How has it affected you/ them?
-What are other ways we can protect ourselves from slips, trips, and falls here at our site?
Slip, Trip, and Fall Safety Presentation
Looking for a complete safety meeting on slips, trips, and falls? This safety meeting focuses on injury statistics, common slips/trips/fall hazards, and best practices to reduce the risk of injuries.
This product bundle includes an editable 10-slide PowerPoint presentation, an editable 7-question quiz, an answer sheet, three related safety talks , and a sign-in sheet.
This product provides everything you need to have a safety meeting and the supporting materials to create a longer safety campaign to keep safety at the top of your employees’ minds.
Save your time by purchasing this slips, trips, and falls safety bundle!
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Slips, Trips, and Falls Safety Talk
Hazards on the jobsite can cause slips, trips, and falls. Learn how to protect yourself and prevent injuries.
Slips, Trips, and Falls Toolbox Talk
Construction sites are full of many hazards but most workers seem to forget about slips, trips, and falls. It is reported that nearly 15% of all accidental deaths are from incidents related to this. These types of accidents are also extremely costly to an employer and account for almost $11 billion with costs related to them. As a worker on a construction site, there are several precautions you can take to prevent an injury from a slip, trip, or fall. We will be looking into these a little further.
Slip, Trip & Fall Injury Statistics
According to the 2013 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, falls caused by slips and trips were the second leading cause of injuries and fatalities in the workplace. The number one cause is motor vehicle accidents. Slips, trips, and falls continue to be a leading cause of emergency room visits for many workers.
Some common slip, trip, and fall injuries include:
Traumatic brain injuries
Causes of Slips, Trips, and Falls
Some common causes of slips, trips, and falls injuries include:
Wet or oily surface
Weather hazards including rain, snow, and ice
Loose mats and rugs
Walking surfaces that are not level
Uncovered wires and cables
Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls
There are ways that you can help prevent slips, trips, and falls, and keep your worksite safer for you and your coworkers. One simple way is to practice good housekeeping, clean up as you go. Other ways include wearing slip-resistant shoes, being careful when walking on uneven surfaces as well as surfaces that are wet.
Good Housekeeping Tips
Good construction site housekeeping is an easy way to prevent most slips, trips, and falls and it is often overlooked. Simply cleaning up your work area as you go can help on the job site. Examples of good housekeeping include:
Cleaning up spills immediately
Mark areas that have spills and are wet until they are cleaned and dry
Mopping or sweeping debris from walking surfaces
Make sure walkways are free of clutter and obstacles
Securing mats and rugs that are not laying flat
Covering cables and wires that cross walkways
Making sure the work area and walkways are well lit
Clean your area as you work don’t leave the mess for others to clean
Check for fall hazards daily and alert your foreman if you see something
Have a laydown yard for extra materials and keep it picked up
Salt sidewalks, parking lots, and other highly traveled areas during winter ( Read more about preventing winter slips, trips, and falls )
Walking Surfaces Tips
Slips, trips, and falls can happen on any walking surface but, if that surface is uneven or if it is made of materials that provide little traction this chance can be increased greatly. Ways you can improve your walkways on your construction site can include:
Make sure there are mats or pressure-sensitive abrasive strips
Ask for the flooring to be replaced or painted if you notice it creates a hazard
Pay attention to where you are walking
If you notice a walking surface that is uneven or that needs some work bring it to the attention of your foreman so they can correct the issue if it is something you can not do. Also, make your coworkers aware of the hazard to decrease the risk of someone else getting hurt.
The footwear you chose to wear to a worksite has a huge impact on if you are safe. You should not wear tennis shoes on a worksite, always wear work boots. Your work boots should be the proper fit with treads to reduce the risk of slips, trips, and falls. To reduce your risks:
Wear work boots that fit snugly and that have slip-resistant soles
Clean the treads of your shoes regularly
Inspect the soles of your work boots and make sure they are intact and that you have proper treads
How you walk can have a big impact on your risk of slips, trips, and falls. When you are walking there are some ways to reduce these risks. This includes:
Take your time and do not run
Use light sources such as flashlights or installed light sources if your walkways are dark
Make sure if you are carrying materials or moving materials that you can see the walkways in front of you
Always look for spills when walking
Fall Prevention From Heights
A construction worker is more likely to get hurt by falling while pushing a wheelbarrow full of materials than they are while standing on scaffolding. However, it is still important to know how to prevent falls from heights above ground level. Some of these safety tips include:
Always use fall protection for heights over 4 feet.
Use proper guarding for holes and windows.
Use guardrails when needed.
Use adequate fall protection such as a full-body harness with a retractable lanyard that is 100% tied off to an approved anchor point.
When climbing ladders make sure to use proper ladder safety techniques .
What To Do If Injured
If you are injured on the job site you should report your injury to your foreman immediately. If you have a serious injury that requires immediate medical attention call 911 or have a coworker call for you. Should you see that a coworker has been injured do your best to notify someone and get immediate medical attention for them. While some slips, trips, and falls may seem minor at first it is always better to get fully checked out. Sprains and strains to your legs, ankles, and back are common with falls on a worksite. Broken bones are also common and need to be treated as soon as possible.
Do Your Part in Preventing Slips, Trips & Falls
A common safety hazard on construction job sites are slips, trips, and falls but they can be prevented with some safety measures. Make sure you are always aware of your surroundings and where you are walking. Also if you see a hazard let your coworkers and foremen know immediately. Working together to keep your worksite clean and hazard free is the best prevention. Should you have any questions about hazards on your job site or what to do ask your foreman.
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Slips, Trips & Falls
Slips, trips and falls can result in head injuries, back injuries, broken bones, sprained muscles, cuts and lacerations or even death. A slip occurs when there is too little traction or friction between the shoe and walking surface, often causing a person to fall backwards. A trip occurs when a person's foot contacts an object in their way or drops to a lower level unexpectedly, causing them to be thrown of balance and typically fall forwards. A fall occurs when you are too far off balance. Some factors contributing to slips, trips and falls include wet slippery surfaces, environmental conditions, insufficient or inadequate lighting, changes in elevations or climbing and descending stairways, and housekeeping issues in working and walking areas.
- Wet and slippery surfaces. U s e absorbent mats, remembering that unanchored mats may cause slip hazards themselves. If you must walk on a slippery surface, wear proper footwear for better traction, or use rails or another stable object that you can hold onto.
- Environmental conditions such as rain, ice and snow can cause major slip hazards. No matter how well snow and ice are removed from sidewalks, parking lots and the surrounding streets, people will invariably encounter some slippery surfaces.
- Insufficient lighting can make it difficult to see obstacles or notice changes in a walking surface. Moving from light to dark areas or vice versa can cause temporary vision problems that may be just enough to cause a person to slip on an oil spill or trip over a misplaced object.
- Changes in elevation. Even a change in walking surfaces of ¼ to ½ inch can be sufficient to cause a trip. Curbs, cracks in the sidewalk, flaws in parking lots, potholes, uneven lawns, ramps and single steps are all examples of these hazards. Keeping stairs in good repair is essential to preventing accidents. Make sure the stairs have secure handrails and guard rails, even tread height, and are free of deteriorating covering to prevent an accident.
- Proper housekeeping in working and walking areas can reduce the chances of slips, trips and falls on a work site. It is important to maintain a safe working environment and a clean walking surface free of obstacles such as clutter, material stacked or dumped in passageways and obstructions across hallways.
Most slip, trip and falls incidents are easily preventable if you follow one simple piece of advice: watch where you're going ! Walking is such a common activity that most people pay little attention to potential hazards, such as hidden steps, loose irregular surfaces, smooth surfaces, wet spots, and oil that can make it difficult for a person to maintain their footing. Ensure you report even a minor fall as it could prevent someone from experiencing a more serious injury down the line.
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Toolbox talks for safety experts
How To Prevent Slips, Trips, And Falls
Nobody ever thinks that they will be the ones to slip, trip, or fall. Everything is going smooth until it’s not. The construction industry accounted for just less than 50 percent of all fatal falls, slips, and trips in 2020.
Unfortunately, this is not as surprising of a statistic as it should be. You might think that with the inherent risks of the trades, we should expect there to be such incidents. But slip, trip, and fall injuries are preventable.
Nothing will slow your work down more than a workplace injury. So, let’s see how we can contribute to the prevention of slips, trips, and falls.
“Prevent falls and slips, or you’ll have a hospital trip.”
Why Toolbox Talks & Safety Is Important
OSHA and other organizations encourage daily toolbox talks that give statistics and produce general awareness about workplace safety hazards. Sharing statistics and experiences like those mentioned above can be beneficial in increasing awareness so that you can prevent workplace injuries or death.
Reminders can help workers to be more cautious and aware of fixing problems before they happen and prevent accidents in general. An example toolbox talk template can be seen below.
OSHA Regulations & Standards for Slips, Trips, and Falls Hazards
An understanding of OSHA regulations can help us to be aware of data-driven safety measures that should be put in place to prevent injury and death. Relevant standards include:
- 1910 Subpart D – Walking-Working Surfaces ,
- 1910.36 – Design and construction requirements for exit routes and
- 1910.37 – Maintenance, safeguards, and operational features for exit routes
However, beyond just giving rules, OSHA recommends implementing programs and procedures to mitigate risks, so we must establish a job site culture that expects everyone to follow those regulations.
OSHA regulations identify the following challenges related to slips, trips, and falls:
- Poorly organized job sites can result in workers tripping over tools, materials, and trash. Bad housekeeping and failure to dispose of garbage or clear out debris and residue can also result in a compounding pile-up one day after the next, thus resulting in trip hazards. OSHA officers can perform random walkthroughs of job sites, and if they decide your housekeeping is not in order, they will fine the company.
- Falling from ladders is a real danger because of improper setup. OSHA 3150 mandates that you set up scaffolding and ladders on solid-level surfaces. You also might be in the bad habit of carrying items up and down an extension ladder, step ladders, or scaffolding. OSHA standards highlight that you should maintain 3 points of contact with your hands and feet. That means you can’t carry things up the ladder. It would be best if you instead used a roof derrick for more oversized items or a bucket and rope to hoist equipment and tools to upper levels.
- Utilizing fall protection is essential in preventing falls , which have the highest potential for extreme injuries and death. The construction industry has been able to choose the fall protection systems it uses on a case-by-case basis since the 1990s. In 2017, OSHA extended this freedom to general industry. In the construction industry, personal protective equipment such as harnesses and lanyards is expected to be worn at heights 6 feet and above. On open exposures that are 4 feet and higher, you should use guardrails and toeboards.
Slips, Trips, and Falls Hazards
To work towards the prevention of slips, trips, and falls, we need to understand what a safety hazard is.
Examples of safety hazards in the construction industry are the following:
- Uncovered cables on the floor
- Uneven surfaces
- Debris or waste caused by poor housekeeping
- Wet surfaces
- Ladders that haven’t been secured
Slips, Trips, and Falls Toolbox Talk Template
In order to prevent slips, trips, and falls, it is important to be aware of the hazards that can cause these types of accidents. Some common causes of slips, trips and falls on construction sites include:
- Wet or icy surfaces
- Poor lighting
- Loose debris
- Tools on the ground
- Unguarded openings
- Lack of proper fall prevention equipment
To avoid these hazards, take the following precautions:
- Wear appropriate shoes with slip-resistant soles
- Use caution when walking on wet or icy surfaces
- Make sure all walkways and stairs are well-lit
- Sweep up any loose debris or tools on the ground
- Use appropriate PPE
- Understand how to use PPE correctly and safely
Who is responsible for preventing slips, trips, and falls?
Everyone at work has a responsibility. The employer is ultimately responsible, but we should all look out for the well-being of ourselves and our colleagues.
We do this by learning and understanding instructions for PPE and for alerting colleagues to openings; by tidying away tools after use, and cleaning out workspaces. If you spot an issue relating to the weather or to lighting that is faulty, report it so that the company can fix it before it causes an accident.
How To Prevent Illnesses And Injuries Related To Slips and Falls
- Immediately clean up any spills, and demarcate any hazards —rope-off areas where there could be chemicals or other condensates. An injury could occur from hitting the ground due to a slip. Moreover, severe illness and death could result from slipping in corrosive or biohazardous materials.
- Cover holes and eliminate uneven surfaces that could have foot traffic. You could unknowingly trip and fall to the ground. If the hole is large enough, you could fall in, thus risking more than a minor injury.
- Provide proper lighting to ensure visibility so you don’t trip on what you cannot see.
- Use fall protection in the form of guardrails and personal protective equipment so that a person cannot fall over an open exposure, even accidentally. Falling from heights 4 feet and above puts you at serious risk of death.
- Establish a routine to inspect fall protection. It’s in place to save your life. You will want to make sure that it will work to protect you from injury or death.
Questions for the Employees
After a discussion, you may want to test everyone’s knowledge and retention of the information to apply what they’ve learned.
- What percent of workplace fatalities are from the construction industry?
- What are the potential causes of injury, and what could happen on your job site?
- How would you feel if an injury or death occurred on your job site?
- What can you personally do to prevent slip, trip, and fall incidents?
- What is our slips, trips, and falls safety talk slogan?
Email Template To Promote Slips, Trips, And Falls Safety
Sending a concise email can help to promote safety. Use this email template, which includes the highlights, and add more bullets as needed to address particular concerns for your job site.
Let’s all be aware to prevent falls and slips, or someone will have a hospital trip.
The construction industry accounted for almost 50 percent of all fatal falls, slips, and trips in 2020.
Understanding our job site hazards and the ways we can mitigate risks is crucial to prevent us from being amongst those statistics.
- Remember to clean as you go and stay organized.
- Use handrails and ask for help when carrying big loads so that the extra hand is available to grab railings and you have full awareness of where you are walking.
- Use fall protection and PPE.
Increase your awareness as you are working. When you see a potential hazard, immediately report it and work to resolve it to prevent injury to yourself and others.
Construction Site Management/Foremen
Create A Safety Culture
You are now highly knowledgeable in the prevention of slips, trips, and falls. It is your responsibility to encourage your workers to increase awareness of potential hazards and processes for reporting. All incidents are preventable ! Remember, you must “prevent falls and slips, or you’ll have a hospital trip.”
In the blog.
Weekly toolbox talk: slips, trips and falls.
Slips, Trips and Falls (Fall Prevention)
We have all experienced slipping, tripping, stumbling or falling. Usually the only result is that you feel silly, embarrassed, and perhaps got a scrape or bruise. But falls kill 1,200 people at work a year. They are the biggest cause of accidental death in the workplace. More than 33,000 people are disabled every year from falling down stairs, while many more people receive other injuries like strains, sprains, and fractures.
There are three physical factors involved in slips, trips, and falls: Friction, Momentum and Gravity.
They each play a role.
- Friction is the resistance between objects. Oil or mud on the floor reduces friction.
- Momentum is your speed and size getting out of control – your body getting away and falling forward, backward or sideways at an ever–increasing speed.
- Gravity is the never-ending force that pulls you toward the ground in a fall.
Lose friction and you slip or fall. Gain too much momentum and you slip or fall. Let’s look at how we avoid these accidents.
Slips – can be caused by wet surfaces, spills, or weather hazards like ice / snow / mud. Slips are more likely to occur when you hurry, run or don’t pay attention to where you are walking. Here’s how to prevent slips:
- Practice safe walking skills. Take short, controlled strides, keeping your center of balance under your hips and shoulders.
- Clean up all material spills right away and report them to the appropriate person
- Do not let grease, oil or finishing mud accumulate at your jobsite.
- Be extra cautious on smooth surfaces such as new floors – green concrete - or floors that have been cleaned or waxed – fresh terrazzo floors.
Trips – are more likely to happen when you are in a hurry and don’t pay attention to where you are going. Remember these rules to avoid tripping:
- Make sure you can see where you are going. Carry only loads that you can see over.
- Keep work areas well lit. Use an extension light to make your walkway more visible.
- Keep your jobsite clean. Assign storage areas for tools and materials.
- Ensure extension cords on power tools are not dangerous trip hazards, route along wall.
- Eliminate hazards due to loose footing on stairs, steps and floors.
- Arrange equipment so that it does not interfere with walkways or pedestrian traffic.
- Store scaffold planks and ramps properly
Falls – occur whenever you move too far off your center of balance. To avoid falls consider the following:
- Don’t jump or rush: controlled motion prevents falls
- Check lighting so you can see your way
- Repair or replace stairs rails and guardrails that are loose or broken
- Don’t lean over guardrails
- Keep passageways and aisles clear of clutter
- Use caution on new floors – green concrete –
- Use caution on wet floors and muddy floors
Remember: Being in control of your motion is your best defense against slips, trips and falls.
Most of these accidents can be prevented if you look where you are going, know what hazards to look for, and try to maintain good housekeeping in your work area.
Home / blog / Toolbox Talk: Slips, Trips and Falls
Toolbox Talk: Slips, Trips and Falls
by Walker Safety · December 13, 2021
Why have this talk? Every year many accidents resulting in injuries occur through slips, trips, and falls. Most of these slips, trips and falls that occur are easily preventable with a little consideration and care.
What will this talk cover? The causes and prevention of slips, trips, and falls.
What causes slips, trips and falls?
- The most common reason for injuries from falls is poor housekeeping, ie mess. Items lying about will trip someone up if not put away in a safe place.
- Where oils and grease are used, spills will create a slip hazard if not immediately cleaned up.
- General debris from building works can quickly accumulate and form a tripping hazard.
- Trailing cables are another frequent cause of tripping.
- Mud left on equipment surfaces or ladder rungs will represent a slipping hazard for the next person.
- Reduced levels of natural light, for example during winter afternoons, can easily increase the tripping hazards if adequate access lighting is not provided. Tools, equipment, and materials that are visible in full daylight will be harder to spot in reduced lighting.
How to prevent slips, trips and falls
- Clear up waste materials as you create them. Lightweight waste should be bagged or bundled, and all sharp objects removed, eg nails from waste timber.
- Do not leave tools, equipment or unused materials lying about on the floor.
- If you are using substances which could spill, ensure that you have a means of effectively clearing up any spillage.
- As far as possible, cables for work equipment should be secured above head height. If cables must be routed at floor level, try to avoid crossing pedestrian walkways and use fluorescent or warning tape to highlight potential trip hazards at floor level.
- If the workplace is muddy, scrape off mud from footwear before using access equipment or walking anywhere that may be a danger to others.
- Be aware of the increased risks of tripping as the level natural light fades; use additional lighting and ensure that all tools, equipment, and materials are stored in a safe location.
Questions for employees
- What can you do in your job to reduce slip, trip, or fall hazards?
- How can you manage the risk from trip hazards at floor level?
- What is the correct procedure for clearing up a spilt liquid?
- How can you improve workplace lighting as the sun sets?
Do you have any questions for me?
Contact us if you require further assistance.
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