Slips, trips and falls happen everyday on workplace stairways and all employees can benefit from these great reminders on stairway safety.
Stairways are a very common walking surface in most workplaces. Falls from stairs may lead to serious injuries or even death. Employers must take measures in their workplaces to protect employees from slip, trip and fall hazards on any walking/working surface and employees have a responsibility to use stairways correctly, as intended. This article is focused on how a stairway should be constructed and the proper use to prevent potential falls.
OSHA General Industry Standard 1910.28(b)(11)(i) states that the employer must ensure each employee exposed to an unprotected side or edge of a stairway landing that is 4 feet (1.2 m) or more above a lower level is protected by a guardrail or stair rail system.
Stairways typically consist of:
Platform landings on stairways must be free of obstructions like the accumulation of debris, materials, or trash. The door or gate opening up onto a platform of stairway must open freely and not present a tripping hazard.
All employees should take the following precautions when stairways are used in the workplace:
Employers are responsible for ensuring workplace stairways are safe and employees should alert management to any unsafe issues or potential hazards noticed on or near stairways.
The majority of stairway workplace incidents occur when an employee is not paying attention, they are rushing and they are not watching their footing. Never carry a load with both hands while going up or down the stairs. This is dangerous for many reasons:
More tips to be sure to emphasize in your next safety meeting on stairways:
Just because walking up and down the stairs seems basic, and we've all been doing it since we were toddlers, don't assume you can skip the safety meeting on this topic. Slips, trips and falls happen everyday on workplace stairways and all employees can benefit from these great reminders on stairway safety.
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