Preventing Slips and Falls from Height

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Here are 7 tips for communicating the importance of fall protection:

  1. Show them you mean business by using safer alternatives where appropriate. Where possible, replace ladders with stairs, have fall protections systems built in at the design phase, or provide mobile lifts and other carrying assistance for oversized or heavy items.
  1. Audit your site. Walk through it on a regular basis, and have others (such as members of your safety committee) join you. Evaluate all walking and working surfaces, including floors, steps, stair treads, mezzanines, entrances, loading docks, storage rooms, ladders and even stepstools. Look for uneven or damaged areas and worn places at doorways or where two different flooring surfaces meet. Evaluate flooring surfaces for slip resistance, such as tile or marble floors, and all tasks done by employees. Review your OSHA injury and illness log form previous years for trends and to identify departments that have shown a higher fall potential or history. Talk with employees from every department and get a full understanding of how they do their job.
  1. Evaluate the lighting in every work area. Is it bright enough? Too bright? Is glare a problem for computer workstations? Does dim lighting obscure trip hazards such as power cords, for example, in warehouse or storage areas. When bulbs burn out, are they being replaced as necessary?
  1. Audit your workforce. Do the employees have the correct foot protection to provide adequate walking/climbing ability? Are their safety shoes poorly fitted, of poor quality, or excessively worn? Perhaps some workers wear their jeans or slacks too long, rolling them under the soles of their shoes. Both conditions can cause trips.
  1. Educate your workforce. Make sure each person understands the policy and is familiar with potential hazards at the site. Teach employees to have pride in their work area and to keep it uncluttered. Ensure the correct type of footwear is worn for each task. Impress upon the workers not to run, especially up stairs. Have employees report problems or needed corrections so quick action can be taken.
  1. Have the right tools ready when needed. If your employees are expected to clean up a spill, have the tools and supplies for cleaning up and disposal available where they can get them easily.
  1. Follow up. Consistent follow-up can help you maintain peak compliance.

KEMI does not assume liability for the content of information contained herein. Safety and health remain your responsibility. This information is to be used for informational purposes only and not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for proper training, supervision or manufacturers’ instructions/recommendations. KEMI, by publication of this information, does not assume liability for damage or injury arising from reliance upon it. Compliance with this information is not a guarantee or warranty that you will be in conformity with any laws or regulations nor does it ensure the absolute safety of any person, place or object, including, but not limited to, you, your occupation, employees, customers or place of business.