According to the latest figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 211,640 cases of workplace injuries reported in 2020 involved falls, slips, and trips, making these the third leading causes of workplace injuries. And in 2021, slips, trips, and falls accounted for 850 deaths in the workplace, 16% of the total.
There’s a very real risk of injury in workplaces resulting from slips, trips, and falls. Fortunately, you can mitigate this possibility with guidance from JAG PT’s slip and fall prevention experts. Contact us today to find out more about our workplace safety services in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, or read further to learn more about common situations leading to workplace slips and falls.
What Are the Main Causes of Slips, Trips, and Falls in the Workplace?
The causes of slip, trip, and fall accidents vary widely from industry to industry and even among employees, depending on the nature of work and working conditions. But generally, there are four main culprits of slips, trips, and falls in the workplace, namely:
A poorly maintained workplace is a common slip, trip, and fall hazard. A workplace should be kept clean and tidy at all times, not just to maintain hygiene and neatness, but safety too. An unkempt workplace may have poor lighting, obstacles in walkways, trailing electrical cords, or dirty, wet, or littered floors, all of which can cause slips, trips, and falls.
Obstructions are permanent features such as low walls, wide pillars, shelves, steep stairways, and tight corners that can cause someone to lose footing. Obstructions only become dangerous if they’re not properly marked in the workplace’s traffic flow.
Loose, Uneven, and Slippery Floors
Poorly managed floors are another leading cause of workplace slips, trips, and falls. Buckled tiles, warped floorboards, uneven steps, and sudden bumps or dips on the floor are tripping disasters waiting to happen. Also, loose floor covering (mats, carpets, rugs, etc.) can be both trip and slip hazards. Moisture, cold weather, spills, and dust can make floors dangerously slippery.
Are your employees wearing the right shoes for the job? The ideal work shoe depends on the demands of the job and the features of the workplace environment, but at any physically demanding job, most people ought to wear sturdy shoes with soles that can gain enough traction.
Tips to Reduce and Prevent Slips and Falls in the Workplace
Slips, trips, and falls can cause serious injuries, including bone fractures, joint dislocations, and head and neck trauma.
According to the National Safety Council, a total of 4,472 fatal workplace injuries that happened in 2021 could have been prevented. Not all workplace accidents or injuries are avoidable. But nearly all slips, trips, and falls can be easily prevented in the following ways:
- Embrace a safety-first work culture.
- Keep all floor surfaces clean, dry, and tidy.
- Provide adequate lighting everywhere.
- Use anti-slip mats to cover or pad the floor.
- Make sure all employees and visitors wear appropriate footwear.
- Mark all obstructions with clear signage.
- Install handrails on stairways.
- Conduct regular workplace safety inspections.
JAG PT’s Slip and Fall Prevention Program
Avoid putting your employees, visitors, and customers in harm's way – consult JAG PT about slip and fall prevention. Our safety experts will guide you in making changes to your workplace to minimize slip, trip, and fall hazards. The program helps building managers, business owners, and institution leaders keep their premises, employees, and visitors safe.
Contact JAG PT or visit any of our facilities conveniently located throughout New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, to learn more about slip and fall prevention.