June 2013 National Safety Month Tips – Week 1 Slips, Trips and Falls

June 2013 National Safety Month Tips

Week 1: June 3-8

Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls

“Safety starts with me” is this year’s theme for National Safety Month. It is important that we all realize safety does start with each and every one of us not matter if it is at home, work or play. This week’s topic is Slips, trips and falls. Most slips, trips and falls are preventable. Many people attribute falls to not having good situational awareness of their surroundings or being clumsy or not paying attention, but many other risk factors do exist. Risk factors include physical hazards in the environment, age-related issues, pets and health conditions. Reduce your risk and find fall hazards in your workplace and home to prevent injuries and keep others safe round the clock.

Remove common fall hazards:

• Keep floors and stairs clean and clear of clutter; also beware of pets running under your feet.

• Maintain good lighting both indoors and on outdoor walkways

• Secure electrical, computer cables and phone cords out of traffic areas or add cord cover to existing cords.

• Use non-skid throw rugs in potentially slippery places, like bathrooms

• Install handrails on stairways or patio rails, including porches

• Use a sturdy step stool or ladder when climbing or reaching for high places

• Clean up all spills immediately

• Wear sensible footwear or footwear with a tread for traction grip features.

Never stand on a the top of a ladder, chair, table or surface on wheels

• Arrange furniture to provide open pathways to walk through

• Periodically, check the condition of outdoor walkways and steps and repair as necessary

• Remove fallen leaves or snow from outdoor walkways to see possible trip hazards

• Be aware that alcohol or other drugs, including prescription and over-the-counter medicine, can affect your balance and increase risk of falling

Older adult falls

Older adults are more prone to become the victim of falls and the resulting injuries can diminish the ability to lead active, independent lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the following tips can greatly help older adults prevent falls, but are beneficial to those of all ages.

• Stay active: Chances of falling can be reduced by improving strength and balance. Examples of activities include brisk walking, tai chi and yoga.

• Fall-proof your home: This includes taking advantage of the tips above and removing all tripping hazards.

• Review your medications: Have your doctor or pharmacist review all the medications you take both prescription and over-the-counter. Some medications or combination of medicines can make you drowsy or light-headed, which can potentially lead to a fall.

• Check your vision: It’s best to have your vision checked at least once a year to make sure you have the best prescription for your glasses. Poor vision greatly increases your risk of falling.

Ladder safety tips:

  • Choose the right ladder for the job and make sure you have received training on how to use it properly
  • Check the area you will be working in for hazards, such as cords or objects in the walkway
  • Don’t stand any higher than the third rung from the top of a ladder
  • Do not use ladders outdoors in windy or inclement weather, and if the weather turns while you are on it, descend immediately
  • Always keep at least three points of contact with the ladder (i.e., two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand

June 2013 Daily Tips

June 3: Avoid falls by keeping all walkways clean and clear of clutter and maintaining good lighting.

June 4: Help avoid falls by staying active to improve your strength and balance, especially for older adults.

June 5: To avoid slips, trips and falls, check the area you will be working in for hazards, such as cords or liquids on the floor.

June 6: Properly arranging your furniture at work and home can help prevent falls.
June 7: In the event of a power outage, have an emergency kit prepared containing multiple flashlights and batteries to avoid tripping over objects in the dark.

If you want more safety tips please contact me.

Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls Quiz

1. Falls account for ________ emergency room visits each year.

A. 8.7 million

B. 30,000

C. 1 billion

D. 650,000

2. Which of the following risk factors contribute to falls?

A. Age-related issues

B. Physical hazards in the environment

C. Health conditions

D. All of the above

3. Staying active is only beneficial to older adults in preventing falls.

True False

4. What are some common fall hazards?

A. Clutter on the stairs

B. Phone and electrical cords

C. Both A and B

D. None of the above

5. Which of the following tips can help prevent a fall?

A. Leaving water on the floor

B. Having snow on the walkway

C. Having cords out where you can see them

D. Maintaining good lighting both indoors and outdoors

Answers are

1. A,

2. D

3. False

4. C

5. D

Slips, trips, and falls cause numerous injuries every day. But they are among the easiest hazards to correct. Take the time to look around your worksite, office or homes for these hazards and work to prevent them. Take care not to cause any slip, trip, or fall hazards as you go about your daily activities. Don’t let a slip, trip, or fall keep you from enjoying all that life has to offer.

Please raise our Slip, Trip and Fall Awareness and remember Safety First, Safety Always!

Information from National Safety Council, CDC, National Floor Safety Institute and ASSE

Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald, Safety and Security Manager for Plateau

keno@plateautel.com



Walking on Snow and Ice

Most slips and falls occur the following days after a winter storm. Below are tips for walking on the snow and ice. Take care and have a safe day.

Walking Safely on Snow and Ice

Walking to and from parking lots or between buildings at work during the winter requires special attention to avoid slipping and falling. Slips and falls are some of the most frequent types of injuries that the Safety Department sees especially during the winter months.

No matter how well the snow and ice is removed from parking lots or sidewalks, pedestrians will still encounter some slippery surfaces when walking outdoors in the winter. It is important for everyone to be constantly aware of these dangers and to learn to walk safely on ice and slippery surfaces.

Reminders

§ Wear appropriate shoes.

§ Walk in designated walkways.

§ Watch where you are walking.

§ Walk slowly and don’t rush!

§ Plan ahead and give yourself enough time.

It is recommended to keep these important safety tips in mind:

Choosing Appropriate Clothing

  • During bad weather, avoid boots or shoes with smooth soles and heels, such as plastic and leather soles. Instead, wear shoes or boots that provide traction on snow and ice; boots made of non-slip rubber or neoprene with grooved soles are best.
  • Wear a heavy, bulky coat that will cushion you if you should fall.
  • Wear a bright scarf or hat or reflective gear so drivers can see you.
  • Keep warm, but make sure you can hear what’s going on around you.
  • During the day, wear sunglasses to help you see better and avoid hazards.
  • Whatever you wear, make sure it doesn’t block your vision or make it hard for you to hear traffic.

Walking Over Ice

Walk like a penguin

  • In cold temperatures, approach with caution and assume that all wet, dark areas on pavements are slippery and icy. Dew or water vapor can freeze on cold surfaces, forming an extra-thin, nearly invisible layer of ice that can look like a wet spot on the pavement.
  • Walk in designated walkways as much as possible. Taking shortcuts over snow piles and other frozen areas can be hazardous. Look ahead when you walk; a snow- or ice-covered sidewalk or driveway, especially if on a hill, may require travel along its grassy edge for traction.
  • If you must walk in the street, walk against the flow of traffic, as close to the curb as you can.
  • Taking shortcuts through areas where snow and ice removal is not feasible can be hazardous. Try to avoid straying from the beaten path.

Point your feet out slightly like a penguin! Spreading your feet out slightly while walking on ice increases your center of gravity.

  • Bend slightly and walk flat-footed with your center of gravity directly over the feet as much as possible.
  • Extend your arms out to your sides to maintain balance. Beware if you are carrying a heavy backpack or other loadyour sense of balance will be off.
    • If you must carry a load, try not to carry too much; leave your hands and arms free to balance yourself.
  • Keep your hands out of your pockets. Hands in your pockets while walking decreases your center of gravity and balance. You can help break your fall with your hands free if you do start to slip.
  • Watch where you are stepping and GO S-L-O-W-L-Y !! This will help your reaction time to changes in traction.
  • When walking on steps, always use the hand railings and plant your feet firmly on each step.
  • Use special care when entering and exiting vehicles; use the vehicle for support.
  • Take short steps or shuffle for stability. It also helps to stop occasionally to break momentum.

Dealing with Traffic

Another hazard of walking on icy ground is dealing with poor road conditions. Keep these safety tips in mind if you’re going to be crossing the street:

  • Before stepping off the curb, make sure all cars and trucks have come to a complete stop. Motorists sometimes underestimate the time it takes to stop, often unintentionally sliding into the crosswalk.
  • Due to poor road conditions, motorists may not be able to stop or slow down for pedestrians. Avoid crossing in areas where driver visibility is lowthe cross traffic may not be able to stop in time.
  • Be on the lookout for vehicles sliding in your direction.
  • Vehicles should yield to snow removal equipment in streets and parking lots.

Indoor Safety

Walking over slippery floor can be just as dangerous as walking over ice! Keep these tips in mind if you are entering a building:

  • Remove as much snow and water from your boots as you can. Water from melting ice on the floor can lead to slippery conditions.
  • Notice that floors and stairs may be wet and slipperywalk carefully especially by outer doors.

If You Should Fall

  • Try to avoid landing on your knees, wrists, or spine. Try to fall on a fleshy part of your body, such as your side. Wearing thick clothing can help prevent injury to the bony parts of your body.
  • Try to relax your muscles if you fall. You’ll injure yourself less if you are relaxed.

If you fall backward, make a conscious effort to tuck your chin so your head won’t hit the ground with full force.

Safety First, Safety Always!

Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald, Safety and Security Manager for Plateau

koswald@plateautel.com


10 Steps to Preventing Slips, Trips & Falls in the Workplace

10 Steps to Preventing Slips, Trips & Falls in the Workplace

Slips, trips and falls are a serious concern in the workplace. In fact, falls make up approximately 20% of all workplace injuries. They result in an average of 11 days away from work, and nearly $40,000 in costs per incident.

 

Download this free whitepaper, 10 Steps to Preventing Slips, Trips & Falls, to learn how to keep your employees safe and keep your facility in compliance with OSHAs standards for safe walking/working surfaces.

In this whitepaper, youll learn:

  • How to assess your potential for slips, trips and falls
  • 10 ways to improve your facilitys floor safety
  • Tips for facility marking and inspection
  • And more!

This guide is available on the Brady Website at: http://www.bradyid.com/bradyid/downloads/downloadsPageView.do?file=10_Steps_To_Prevent_Slips_Trips_Falls_Guide.pdf


Slips, Trips and Falls Training Video

Looking for a good training video for your next safety meetings?

Considering the fact that slips, trips and falls are still one of the biggest causes of accidents in the workplace and usually the most easy to fix, the video by worksafebc.com might be a great place to start.

The video does a great job of covering all the basics and more in an easy to follow fairly entertaining manner.

Check out their Youtube video. While you’re there, have a look at the other videos they’ve posted.


Slips and Falls account for 15% of workplace injuries

Stumble It! Digg! Add to Mixx! Pownce

While slips and falls might be hilarious in the movies (Think man slipping on a banana peel), in real life they are serious and costly business. In 1999 slips, trips and falls accounted for over 1 million injuries and 17,000 fatalities; that’s 15% of all disabling injuries for that year. That’s a lot of time off work, a lot of pain and a lot of money (the average disabling injury cost upwards of $28,000 and close to 1 million dollars for a fatality).

Want to step up your safety program? Want to help reduce injuries in your workplace? Or even in your home? Start with slips, trips and falls.

Falls fit into one of two categories: Same Level or Elevated Level

Today’s blog is going to focus on same level falls and tomorrow we will look at elevated level falls.

Same Level Falls

Same level falls (SLF) account for 60% of falls and are caused by one of two things:

  1. When the bodies momentum pulls a person to the ground because his or her feet have been halted. These are classified are “trips”. An example of this is when your foot hits a ledge of some sort (carpet that isn’t laying flat, curb, or whatever). The body continues to move forward, carried by the momentum but, because the feet have been kept from following the person falls to the ground. Trips are caused by poor lighting, obstructed views, carpets that aren’t laying flat, clutter and debris, etc…
  2. When the foot loose traction (think banana peel here) and, having no more support, the body crashes to the ground. These are classified as “Slips”. Slips are caused by wet or oily surfaces, spills, rainwater on the floor, unanchored carpets or other items with no traction lying on the floor.

The first cause listed above is a matter of paying attention to carpets with frayed edges and making sure that all lips and ledges are clearly marked with marking tape. Be sure to clearly mark a perimeter on the ground around all the racks and shelving.

The second cause is best dealt with by mopping up and cleaning up messes, rainwater and spills right away. Installing the proper matting in chronic areas can also “elevate” people above the hazard. Be aware of areas where the floor might be wet and install the appropriate matting or anti-slip tape or anti-slip paint. In other areas, the safety issue might be due to shavings, debris or other scraps that accumulate on the floor. Here again, the right dry environment matting can help.

Taking a little time to thoroughly examine your environment can make a huge difference.

Tomorrow… Elevated Level Falls