Injuries and accidents at the workplace are any employer or manager’s worst nightmare. This is because they may lose workforce temporarily, pay workers compensation or even lawsuits from customers. For most workers, safety practices in the workplace are the first things they study at the start of the training, and keep on to be updated on right through their employment. Slip and fall hazards in the office are one of the top cause of personal injuries.
Office Slip Fall Statistics
According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), slips and falls present the major cause of lost work days. Also, slips and trips are the major cause of compensation of workers claims plus the major cause of work injury for persons aged 55 years and above. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2002 22 percent of slip/trip hazards resulted in over 31 days absent from work. Therefore, it is important to understand the risks and learn how to prevent them.
Slips happen due to less traction or friction between the surface and footwear. Frequent causes of slips include:
- Occasional spills
- Oily or wet surfaces
- Weather hazards
- Loose, unanchored mats or rugs
- Flooring and walking surfaces with different degree of grip in all areas
How A Trip Happens
Trips occur when the foot hits an object making you lose the balance and finally fall. Frequent causes of tripping include:
- Poor lighting
- Obstructed view
- Wrinkled carpeting
- Clutter on the pathway
- Bottom drawers left open
- Uncovered cables
- Uneven walking surfaces
Both slip and trip result from an unexpected or unintended alteration in the contact between the sole and the walking surface. Therefore, good housekeeping, choice of proper footwear, quality of flooring, plus proper pace of walking are vital for preventing slip and trip accidents.
Office Good Housekeeping
This is one of the most important ways of preventing fall accidents because of slip and trips in the office. It entails:
- Cleaning spills immediately
- Mopping debris from floors
- Removing barriers on walkways
- Always closing storage drawers or file cabinets
- Securing through taping, tacking, etc., rugs, carpets and mats
- Covering cables on walkways
- Keeping walkways and working areas well lit
- Replacing faulty switches and light bubs
For more office housekeeping tips click here.
Flooring & Footwear
Changing walking surfaces through replacing or re-coating floors, installing mats, synthetic or metal decking, etc. reduces the risk of slip and trip.
In offices, floors may be wet or oily due to people walking outdoors frequently. With proper footwear, you will prevent fall accidents. In addition, proper footwear prevents fatigue and increases comfort which as a result improves the employee’s safety. To get more details about proper footwear, visit foot safety.
A few things to do while in the office to prevent the risk of slipping on wet flooring include:
- Walking with feet pointed somewhat outward
- Take your time and then concentrate on where you are going
- Adjust your stride to a suitable pace for the walking surface as well as jobs you are doing
You can also minimize the risk of tripping by ensuring that things you are pushing or carrying don’t obstruct you from seeing spills, objects, etc. on the way. Office safety is imperative for everyone in the workplace.