September 23 – 29, 2019, is recognized as Fall Prevention Week.
Almost one in every five work-related injuries results from a slip, trip or fall. In 2016, the National Safety Council reports that 697 workers died in falls to a lower level, and 48,060 were injured badly enough to require time off of work.
A worker doesn’t have to fall from a high level to suffer fatal injuries; 134 workers were killed in falls on the same level in 2016, according to Injury Facts. Construction workers are most at risk for fatal falls from height – more than seven times the rate of other industries – but falls can happen anywhere, even at a “desk job.”
The good news is that falls are preventable.
VRSA Senior Safety Consultant Fonda Craig tested Slip Simulator Training from Industrial Biodynamics, which places individuals on a safe, controlled training simulator that allows them to experience what it feels like to walk on a surface that is more slippery than ice. They then learned techniques to improve stability and reduce their risk of falling.
Additional tips to prevent slips, trips and falls in the workplace include:
• Keep floors and surfaces clear of slippery substances or clutter;
• Keep electrical and phone cords out of traffic areas;
• Install handrails on stairways;
• Wear sensible footwear;
• Maintain proper lighting inside and out;
• Always use a ladder or step stool – never stand on chairs or tables;
• Practice proper ladder safety;
• Make sure you can see over and around any load you are carrying;
• Apply non-slip surfacing to areas recognized as hazardous; and
• Paint edges where elevation changes occur with caution yellow paint.
For more information visit our website at: www.vrsa.us. There you will find a number of training materials including videos, online courses, recorded webinars and more to help train employees on the importance of preventing slips, trips and falls.