Guides & Toolkits

Slips; Trips and Falls

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RISK FACTORS Poor Housekeeping Uneven Surfaces Wet or Slippery Surfaces Unsuitable Footwear Unsafe Behaviour SLIPS, TRIPS & FALLS STEP ONE: RAISE AWARENESS (RECOGNITION) WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW What is the injury history in our workplace? Have we had near misses or slips, trips and falls? What are the results of our risk assessments to identify job-related hazards? What safe work practices and training requirements have we implemented, and when were they last reviewed? WHAT DO WE MEAN BY SLIPS, TRIPS & FALLS Knowing how these three terms differ in cause and effect will improve the effectiveness of your prevention plan. Slips: Slips involve the loss of contact between foot and floor due to lack of traction between footwear and the walking surface. Usually, the foot goes forward and the person falls back. Trips: A trip occurs when a foot strikes an object, resulting in loss of balance. Momentum causes the person to fall forward. Trips occur when there's an obstacle in the path that the individual fails to see. Falls: There are two kinds of falls: from the same level, or from a height. Falling from heights of less than three metres involve stepladders, stools, stairs, etc. Falling from heights of over three metres involve scaffolds and roofs, etc. WHY PREVENT SLIPS, TRIPS AND FALLS Slips, trips and falls are some of the leading causes of lost-time injuries at work in Ontario. They can occur at any workplace. Almost 20 per cent of all lost-time injury claims in Ontario involve slips, trips and falls. WHAT THE LAW SAYS Preventing slips, trips and falls should be a goal of every safe and healthy workplace. Employers have an obligation to: Identify and assess job-related hazards; Advise and train workers about risks in their job and in the workplace; Encourage workers to report on slip, trip and fall hazards; Establish controls to reduce workers' exposure to slip, trip and fall hazards; Ensure that preventive measures are working. Ministry of Labour inspectors focus on workplace hazards, including those which may result in slips, trips and falls. They may take enforcement action if they find violations of the OHSA and its regulations. Source: "Prevent Slips, Trips and Falls in all Workplaces," Ontario Ministry of Labour, HAZARD SPOTLIGHT

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