Health and safety are a top priority in every business. The employer must ensure the safety of the workers and programs must be set in place to prevent any injuries like slipping, tripping, or falling.
There are many types of workplace hazards. Slip and fall hazards belong to the physical hazard category and is the most common among other categories—chemical, ergonomic, and biological are the others. A slip test can be done to check slip resistance of floors. This is one way to prevent hazards at work.
Why do slip and fall hazards happen?
If there is too little traction between the shoe and the walking surface, slips, trips, and falls happen. Check this list of the three most common slip hazards to be able to manage and improve safety at work:
- Liquid Hazards. These include slippery surfaces, wet, or contaminated liquids like oil, grease, or mud. Occasional spills also account for this type.
- Flooring Hazards. Sloped surfaces, uneven tiling, damaged floors, and irregular steps are common hazards on the floor. Also check your carpeting. Wrinkled or worn out carpets can cause slip and fall incidents.
- Cluttered Work Areas. Tools in walkways, even trailing cables, and uncovered electrical cords can be hazardous. Other hazards include weather like rain or snow and poor lighting in the workplace.
How to prevent and control workplace hazards?
It’s best to identify the hazards first then carry out a risk assessment, then do routine schedules for monitoring, evaluation, and review. You can always check with Australian standards slip resistance requirements to get a more professional approach, but there are, however, a few good practices you can do:
- Create good housekeeping program.Perhaps the most basic, know what needs to be done and assign specific persons whether individually or by group in a particular area. As simple as cleaning up food and drink spills and keeping work areas neat and tidy count as good housekeeping practices. During rainy days, slip and fall prevention can be done by putting absorbent mats at entryways.
- Encourage safe work practices.There are standard testing methods to check floor slips in Australia, but it’s best to start with safe company practices. Encourage workers to wear proper shoes preferably with non-slip soles. When coming inside the office, ask them to wipe their feet especially during wet or rainy days. Obstacles are also slip hazards so always encourage workers to pick up items off the floor and avoid leaving items on walkways and aisles.
- Install and maintain proper lighting.Keep work areas well lit. This ensures good visibility upon going in and about the workspaces. Light switches should be accessible too. Ensure proper lighting not only on the work floor but also in other areas like the parking lot and hallways. If problems and malfunctions arise, such as burned-out bulbs, report right away.
- Conduct routine inspectionsAssess that areas are in good condition and check the causes of damaged flooring to make way for repairs. Contact experts to do a slip test should you have repairs or new flooring. Identify the risks and warn the workers as soon as possible. Inspections should be done procedurally for monitoring.
Lastly, don’t forget that signages are as important to prevent slip and fall hazards. Displays and signs help warn people. Use appropriate markings and barriers to tell workers to be extra careful. Make sure of the policies and procedures allow time for cleaning and fixing the areas. As always, you can ask the experts when it comes to slip checks.