After I start tucking away the fun summer things and preparing my home for winter time, I'm always mindful of what could be a slip, trip and fall hazard. Although, it is kind of fun to watch the teenagers slip and slide on the ice as they try to catch themselves from sliding down the slight hill in our driveway. BUT... This blog is about what can we do to try and prevent this from happening.
This blog focuses on Loss Control for your business, but a lot of the same principles apply at your home as well, insuring safety for everyone. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 26.8% of injuries in the work place are caused by slips, trips and falls! People who fell, on average, miss 11 days from work from 1 fall. Ouch. What can you do to prevent this from happening? Well, read on my friend.
Employers and business owners should ensure that walking and working surfaces are free from hazards such as:
* Uneven walking surfaces
* Loose Boards
Surfaces of all kinds can have irregularities, can be wet, dark or have obstacles protruding into pathways. Here's a few best practices to keep in mind:
* When walking on slippery surfaces it is best to walk with feet pointed slightly
outward and use small, slow steps. I tell my kids to do the "granny shuffle", which
is also kind of fun to watch.
* Avoid carrying loads that block your view.
* Wear proper shoes for the task completed and the shoes should be slip resistant
and in good condition. No, son, you cannot wear flip flops while shoveling snow
are words I never thought I'd have to say.
* Make sure areas are well lit up to help see potential hazards.
* Use automatic cord reels or garden hose hangers to keep cords/hoses off walking
Parking lots and sidewalks are a large slip risk. These areas are prone to surface irregularities such as pot holes and changes in surface material. Filling in pot holes and using caution tape or signs to point out some of these irregularities can prevent slips and falls.
Snow and Ice. Ugghh. It's coming, Folks. Having a formal snow and ice removal maintenance program in place can drastically reduce slips and falls during this time of year. Proper footwear is a requirement for our Minnesota winters. Providing signage or caution tape where ice is likely to build up and keeping pathways, roadways and parking areas plowed or shoveled is extremely important.
On to stairs and entry ways. Loose handrails or loose steps are a huge fall hazard. Stairs should not be used to store items on. They should be clear of obstacles at all times. We see a lot is slips and falls in an entry way. People are entering buildings with wet shoes or are in a hurry to avoid inclement weather and slip when entering. Absorbent rugs should be used in entry ways to contain the water and prevent people from slipping on wet floors. If floors are wet they should be cleaned up immediately.
I know, I know... it can be entertaining to watch someone slip, try and catch themselves. We see the video clips all over the place. But it is no longer funny when someone is injured in a slip or fall incident that could have been prevented. Yes, even if it is my teenage children, though I still might chuckle just a little on the inside.
Need more ideas? Suggestions? Want us to work with you to create a loss control program? Give your agent a call! We are always here, working to Protect What's Important.