Preventing Slips & Falls
For Your Protection
You need a system to protect you no matter what type of fall is likely in your industry. You will need anchorages, body support equipment, and connecting equipment as your three sources of protection. It is vital that these three components are properly chosen to provide maximum protection.
Daily Hazards, Daily Habits
Increased prevention of slips and falls should be a primary safety objective in all of our daily routines. Fatal accidents can be prevented. So can many minor slips and falls. With good safety habits, routines, and hazard assessments in place, most of these unnecessary accidents can be eliminated. Take each day at a time, stay alert, and monitor the worksite for conditions that may result in an accident of this type.
Starting the day with everything in order is crucial. Previous crews should do their housekeeping. Your shift should pick up where they left off. Watch out for materials and hazards that may be potential trouble spots which could cause slips and falls.
Avoiding Common Slips and Falls
Ensure proper lighting in corridors, stairwells, and on the work site.
Check for proper handrails and guardrails.
Replace or properly repair any damaged handrails or guardrails.
Always keep at least one hand free to grip railings.
Repair or finish off poorly joined floors at the top or base of stairways.
Don't allow or take part in any on-site horse play.
No running in gangways or on stairs.
Watch for - or move - stacked materials that could cause a tripping hazard.
Watch for doors opening the wrong way - change the doors, or post danger notices, and have all staff informed.
Change the location of wires, electrical equipment, furniture, and other materials so they are not in the way. Tripping over cords and wires is very common.
Keep greases and oil off all floor areas.
Maintain good general housekeeping at all times.
Barricade All Floor Openings
Floor openings and chutes must be properly guarded. Legislation specifies that the hole or opening must be covered securely with a cover designed to support an anticipated load and the employer mark with appropriate warning signs. Fatalities and accidents as a result of this type of fall are all too frequent. Don't let anyone forget this basic safety rule - it is for the protection of yourself and others.
Falls to Avoid and Prevent
Take extra care to avoid falls in the following situations:
Roofs - Know the strength of the roof before going on it. Know what factors may affect this strength. Use protective equipment while on sloped roofs and have adequate platforms. Guard both roof edges and any openings.
Scaffolds - While on a scaffold walk - don't run. Inspect, tag and test your scaffolding - and make sure it is secured properly. Ensure scaffold guarding and toe boards are in place.
Stairs - Watch out for irregular stairs, water and spills. Always watch where you place your foot. Don't pull yourself up by the handrail - put your foot firmly on each stair tread.
Vehicles - Use three points of contact at all times when mounting or dismounting from a vehicle.
Ladders - Maintain three points of contact at all times, ensure proper footing, and do not work off top two rungs.
Always a Danger
Falls are among the most frequent lost-time accidents in Saskatchewan and elsewhere. Falls also injure many people around the home. Don't let falls become a statistic in your household.
Take care while working at heights around the home or at the cottage.
Make sure guarding, barricades, and equipment are safe. Don't work in a hazardous condition or layout.
Stair accidents are common around the house. Teach your children not to run on the stairs. Don't move furniture up and down stairs by yourself. Get friends and neighbors to assist with difficult jobs. Make sure you use the right equipment to help you move large objects. Take care and time to do the job right. Your whole family will appreciate your concern for safety.
Communicate with your family members. Tell each other when floors are wet or have been waxed and what to watch out for. Your work experience can be shared and common sense examples given to your family members.
There is always a danger when working at heights. Statistics indicate that fatal falls are frequent in the construction industry. Your safety program, hazard assessment, and procedures should address potentially dangerous situations and have proper measures in force. All equipment should be undamaged, right for the job, and tested for safety.
For more information, refer to current applicable Occupational Health and Safety Legislation.