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Safety Moment: Slips, Trips & Falls

There are many tips to keep these incidents from occurring. Please review this information and share it with family and friends.

Slips, Trips & Falls are among the most common injuries. They can even cause fatalities at work, home, and while away from home on vacation or while enjoying recreational activities. Direct Line Global takes pride in having a culture of Safety as one of its six Core Values. 

Here are some tips that will help you to be safer:

Tips to Stay Safe

  • If you see something you might slip or trip on, correct it, or tell your supervisor immediately.
  • Clean up spills and anything slippery. Don’t use cleaners that could make the floor slippery.
  • Clear walkways, stairs, and lobbies of anything that might be a tripping hazard, such as cords, wires, empty boxes, and clutter.
  • Make sure that floor mats lay flat rather than wrinkled or bunched.
  • Use handrails when you walk up and down steps.
  • Check that ladder extensions are fully locked and that the ladder legs are stable on a flat, non-slippery surface.
  • Clean off any slips on a ladder’s rungs, steps, or feet before you use it.
  • Before using any ladder or stepladder, make sure it opens fully.
  • Don’t go over the load limit noted on the ladder.

Falls are 100% preventable!

Whether working from a ladder, roof, or scaffolding, planning, assessing the risk, and using the right equipment is essential. First, determine if working from a height is necessary or if there is another way to do the task safely.

  • Discuss the task with coworkers and determine what safety equipment is needed.
  • Make sure you acquired proper training on how to use the equipment and use spotters if needed.
  • Scan the work area for potential hazards before starting the job.
  • Make sure you have level ground to set up the equipment.
  • If working outside, check the weather forecast; never work in inclement weather.
  • Use the correct tool for the job, and use it as intended.
  • Wear fall protection if working 6’ or higher.
  • Ensure stepladders have a locking device to hold the front and back open.
  • Always keep two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand on the ladder.
  • Place the ladder on a solid surface and never lean it against an unstable surface.
  • A straight or extension ladder should be 1 foot away from the surface it rests on for every 4 feet of height and extends at least 3 feet over the top edge.
  • Securely fasten straight and extension ladders to an upper support.
  • Wear slip-resistant shoes, and don’t stand higher than the third rung from the top.
  • Don’t lean or reach while on a ladder, and have someone support the bottom.
  • Never use old or damaged equipment; check thoroughly for cracks or bent rungs.

Fall Hazards at Home

Are you a weekend warrior or a do-it-yourselfer? Suppose you take on home improvement or other weekend projects. In that case, it’s essential to prepare yourself for physical exertion, especially if you’ve been sedentary through the winter months, and take extra precautions to prevent falls.

Risky projects, such as installing siding, gutters, or roofs, are best left to professionals. Saving money isn’t worth risking a debilitating or fatal fall.

At home or work, many of the same rules apply. When taking on a project:

  • Practice all of the ladder safety tips mentioned above.
  • Keep the work area clear of hazards and immediately clean up spills.
  • Read all instructions and safety precautions on your equipment.
  • Don’t wear loose clothing that can get caught in the equipment.

We tend to think we’re always safe on flat ground, but the thousands of injuries each year tell us otherwise.

  • Falls are the #1 cause of death for older adults: fall-proof your home.
  • Keep floors and surfaces clear of clutter.
  • Keep file cabinets and desk drawers closed.
  • Keep electrical and phone cords out of traffic areas.
  • Install handrails on stairways.
  • Wear sensible footwear.
  • Never stand on chairs, tables, or any surface with wheels.
  • Properly arrange furniture to create open pathways.
  • Maintain good lighting indoors and out.

Slips, Trips & Falls Key Statistics

The second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death is falling. In 2020, 42,114 people died in falls at home and in their workspace; falls can be the leading cause of death depending on the industry.

In 2020, 805 workers died in falls, and 211,640 were injured badly enough to require days off work. A worker doesn’t have to fall from a high level to suffer fatal injuries; 136 workers died in falls on the same level in 2020. 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.”

More than 6.8 million people had the urgency to go to emergency rooms for fall-related injuries in 2019.

At Direct Line Global, we put constant emphasis on our Safety Culture. Our team members’ health and safety matter at all times. Learn more about our Safety posts on our website. Stay safe out there!