Toolbox Safety Tip 32

Slips and Falls 

There are various ways to suffer slips and falls while working.  You can slip and lose your balance, you can trip over objects left improperly in your walkway, or you can simply fall from an elevated position above the ground.

To avoid slips and falls, be on the lookout for foreign substances on walkways.  Watch for deposits of water, grease, oil, sawdust, mud or debris.  Even small quantities are enough to make you fall.  Do not go too fast; walk safely and avoid changing directions too sharply.

Beware of tripping hazards.  Trash, unused materials, and any object left in areas designed for pedestrian traffic invites falls.  Extension cords, tools and other items should be removed or properly barricaded off.  If equipment or supplies are left in walkways, remove it.  Keep passageways clean of debris by using trash barrels; but if you use them and miss, PICK IT UP!

Walk where you are supposed to walk.  Short cuts through machine areas invite accidents.  Concentrate on where you are going – horseplay and inattention leave you vulnerable to unsafe conditions.

The worst falls are from elevated positions like scaffolding and ladders.  They result in serious injuries and death.

Learn and practice safety and the proper use of scaffolding.

When climbing, use a ladder of proper length that is in good condition.  Keep it placed on a firm surface.  Keep the ladder’s base one foot away from the wall for every four feet of height.  Do not overreach – always have control of your balance when working from a ladder.  Never climb a ladder with your hands full, and always carry tools in proper carrying devices.  Make sure the ladder extends three feet above the landing and is properly tied off.

When using a scaffold, be sure it is properly assembled according to the manufacturer’s specifications.  Check carefully for defects.  Standing and working planks should be level and clean.  Use toe boards to prevent tools from falling, and workers from slipping.  Work only with

people who practice scaffold safety.

Slips and falls occur every day.  The extent of injuries and their recurrence can be minimized through proper safety knowledge and attitudes.

Practice safety…..DO NOT learn it through “Accidental Experience”.