Preventing Slip, Trip and Fall Injuries for Public Employees in Massachusetts
Slip, trip and fall injuries are the leading type of work-related injury for Massachusetts city and town employees. Putting an active safety program in place can help reduce the prevalence and severity of these work-related injuries.
Types of Slips, Trips and Falls Include:
- Slipping on a wet or slippery floor.
- Slipping on ice.
- Tripping over clutter such as wires, boxes and furniture.
- Tripping over uneven surfaces such as damaged floors, uneven sidewalks, and potholes.
- Falling downstairs, falling off ladders, and falling off chairs that were used instead of a ladder.
What Building Managers Can Do:
- Inspect exterior sidewalks, parking lot and loading docks for uneven surfaces.
- Inspect exterior walkways for water that drains into the walkway.
- Inspect entrances for wet floors.
- Inspect kitchen areas for grease and water drainage.
- Compare actual floor cleaning products and work practices to desired specifications. Some cleaning products can increase slipperiness of floor finishes.
- Inspect carpets for loose edges which can cause trips.
- Inspect offices and classrooms for clutter, loose wires, path obstructions and excessive storage of items.
- Inspect for proper lighting and handrails in stairwells.
Implement a Culture of Prevention:
Many healthcare and retail settings have dramatically reduced their slip and trip injuries by implementing a culture of prevention among employees.
- Immediately clean spills.
- Immediately clear ice and snow.
- Immediately remove trash from floors.
- Use wet floor cleaning signs when cleaning floors.
- Mop one side of a hallway at a time, so pedestrians have a dry path at all times.
- Install large all-weather floor mats at entrances.
- Provide mobile step ladders so employees do not stand on furniture to reach things.
- Repair sidewalk and parking lot surfaces.
- Repair water drainage issues to keep sidewalks dry.
- Repair torn or damaged carpet.
- Discourage clutter and excessive storage in offices and classrooms.
- Employers may establish a policy for employees to wear slip-resistant shoes.
- Consult with a custodial services provider to review floor cleaners and floor finishing products so that slip resistance of floors is maintained.