Walking/Working Surfaces exist literally everywhere you can step foot in the workplace, and that means that slip, trip and fall hazards are lurking everywhere, but a good safety program can minimize those risks.
According to OSHA, slips, trips, and falls are among the most common causes of workplace injuries. Good housekeeping practices are essential in the workplace and reduce the potential for slip, trip and fall incidents.
OSHA Standard 1910.22(a)(1) states that the employer must ensure: All places of employment, passageways, storerooms, service rooms, and walking-working surfaces are kept in a clean, orderly, and sanitary condition.
OSHA defines a walking/working surface as any horizontal or vertical surface on or through which an employee walks, works, or gains access to a work area or workplace location.
Some examples of walking/working surfaces include:
Slips occur when there is too little friction or traction between your feet (footwear) and the walking or working surface, and you lose your balance.
Trips occur when your foot (or lower leg) hits an object and your upper body continues moving, throwing you off balance.
To prevent slips and trips ensure all walking and working surfaces are free from hazards such as:
If repair or maintenance is required to remove the identified slip, trip or fall hazard, and the fix cannot be made immediately, the hazard must be guarded to prevent employees from using the walking-working surface until the hazard is corrected or repaired.
Short-term hazards due to maintenance, repair or housekeeping should be marked with cautionary floor stands or signs, barricade tape, warning posts and/or chains.
OSHA Standard 1910.22(a)(3) Walking-working surfaces are maintained free of hazards such as sharp or protruding objects, loose boards, corrosion, leaks, spills, snow, and ice.
It is recommended that a safety meeting on slips, trips and falls be conducted with all staff at least once a year. During the safety meeting, make sure to cover these important points to prevent slips, trips & falls in the workplace.
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