Friday, February 10, 2017

It only takes a minute – or less

There’s an adage that reads, “Write about what you know.” Lately, through personal experience, I’ve become somewhat of an expert on falls. Two days, two slip-and-falls, in the snow, off the back deck. At one time, I would have rallied nicely from both incidents; now not so much. It takes a little longer to recover but it takes a split second for it to happen. Thus, the focus of today’s blog.

Falls, the number one accidental injury, are no laughing matter, especially in the workplace. I did a little research on the topic and some of the statistics are eye-opening. For example, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics information (2014), more than 260,000 private industry, state and local government workers missed one or more days because of injuries from falls. Workers compensation and medical costs associated with occupational falls are estimated at $70 billion dollars annually. Seventy billion dollars!  Slip-and-fall accidents also account for more than eight million hospital emergency room visits.

If you oversee safety operations at your facility, slips, trips and falls are a huge concern. A pro-active, employee engaging safety program won’t eliminate the incidents and injuries completely, but it will go a long way toward prevention.

Regularly monitor and eliminate trip hazards. If you can’t eliminate them, make them conspicuous; clearly identify them with signage, barriers, flashing lights, whatever it takes. Same thing at locations where there is a shift in surface level. Mark it clearly. The least little change in floor level can result in a worker taking a nasty fall. Make sure lighting is adequate in all areas; use ramps, rails and skip-resistant flooring where needed. Store materials properly; eliminate workers maneuvering through an obstacle course to get around them. Spilled liquids or debris on the floor? Clean it up. Don’t get sidetracked into thinking it’s something that can wait. It only takes a split second for someone to fall. Be observant.  Are people walking through the facility trying to text on their phones or distracted by other things? Are they racing through the facility or just not watching where they are going? Training is key; a standard program of rules and procedures communicated to all workers is a must.

I realize these suggestions probably aren’t anything new to you, but it never hurts to issue a gentle reminder.

Safety is a good thing.



Posted by MJ Thomas

1 comment :

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