Did you know that slips and falls are the leading causes of emergency room visits, accounting for around a million trips to the ER each year? They are also the most common reason why workers file for compensation benefits. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that trips and falls lead to 95 million days of lost work annually!
In short, workplace accidents are expensive, and they are often avoidable. Interestingly enough, around 66% of falls actually happen at the same level. In other words, only a minority of falls happen from a height. The majority of spills are the simple result of tripping hazards. If you want to prevent trips and falls, you need to take care of common hazards around the workplace which could cause your workers to lose their balance.
Here are 10 quick safety tips that will help you to ensure a safer, fall-free workplace! (Click here for even more cable management methods!)
Poor lighting, especially along walls and in corners, can lead workers to trip, even when there are no obstacles present. Make sure that your workplace is evenly lit, and that there are no blind spots. Be particularly aware of this hazard in back rooms like inventory supply areas where lighting may be seen as a secondary concern.
As carpeting is subjected to wear and tear, it can form wrinkles and creases. Even a small fold may be enough to cause a worker to lose his or her balance and take a fall. Monitor your carpeting carefully, and if you find one of these creases, take care of it right away.
I know it sounds obvious, but most people walk around oblivious, so you have to make it really easy for them!
Just as flat carpet or tile is essential, so are even floorboards. A single floorboard even marginally higher or lower than the boards around it can easily cause an employee to trip. Our raised access floor systems are built with flat, even paneling. Because they distribute the load evenly, they are less likely than other types of floor panels to be displaced over time from repeated wear and tear. They are built with accessibility in mind, which makes them easy to adjust if the need does arise.
When you open a file cabinet or a desk drawer to access a folder or supply, immediately close it again. Train your employees not to walk away from their desks and cabinets with drawers left open at any height, but especially near floor level. It is all too easy for a worker to stumble right over an open drawer and take a serious fall!
An alternative might be to put up a sign: "Your mother doesn't work here so pick up your own mess."
If you have a wet floor or even a loose floorboard or another hazard which is unavoidable for the time being, post a sign so that all your workers are aware of it. There is no reason to take any chances you don’t have to! Communication is key.
Also key is to CYA!
It is essential that your employees wear footwear that emphasizes functionality over fashion. All too often, fashionable footwear sacrifices traction (especially women’s shoes). Whether you set a strict footwear policy or not, counsel employees on the best footwear and advise workers to tie their shoelaces.
No shoelaces? What, you mean you let your employees wear sandals or --gasp-- flip flops at work? Bring out the ice because they're going to have a lot of twisted ankles!
Make cleaning and safety procedures into a habit. Schedule it as a continuing routine. Put tasks that need to be completed on a calendar, assign specific workers their responsibilities, and consider introducing incentives for following the schedule. Yes, we're talking dangling carrots here.
If necessary, you may want to plan training events to teach employees best practices (and practices that keep you, the manager, out of trouble!). While everyone in the workplace is responsible for safety, it is your responsibility to make sure your employees know the best procedures and follow them!
How often in the course of your job do you find yourself saying: “Oh, I’ll just leave this cord here for now,” or “I’ll move this cart later?” Even temporary clutter can cause a workplace accident, so avoid creating problems you will have to solve later. If you do find an obstacle in a hallway or between the cubicles in your office, find out where it belongs and move it to its proper place right away.
Basically, do it right the first time! Did you just get a new laptop? Great, those Youtube videos will load much faster now. Just make sure you put the power cord out of the way, OK?
Wires, cords, and cables are some of the most pervasive and perilous tripping hazards in workplaces worldwide. All it takes is one cable out of place to send a worker sprawling—and it is so easy for cables to wander!
Take steps to corral your loose wires and cables. There are a lot of methods that are popular for doing this. Cable ties can help keep wires together, as can binder clips. Many people like to run wires into boxes or baskets where they store their power strips. Another method is to tape cables down to the carpet or under the furniture.
Yeah, it sounds tacky, but don't lie, you know you've done it!
While the solutions above can help to organize cables and wires, they are really stopgap measures that'll only get you so far. Why? Considering how many trips and falls are caused just by creases in carpeting or uneven floorboards, think how easy it would be to stumble over a set of taped-down wires.
Our access flooring offers a much more convenient and comprehensive solution; it is easy to install, and features built-in cable raceways. You can run any type of cable underneath it. Wires, cables, hoses and even pipes are completely out of your way, but easy to access if you need to reroute something. Basically, you never need to worry about a worker tripping over a cable again.
How much money did your company spend on workers’ compensation claims this year? How many days did injured employees take out of work? How much time have you wasted with makeshift measures that don’t deliver? Your workers are the people you rely on, and it is worth it to invest time and money into ensuring that they are safe from tripping hazards. Over the long run, it will pay off in huge ways!Access Floor, Cable Management