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Slips, trips and falls make up the greatest number of accidents that lead to claims in the insurance program. In the final segment of our Safety Focus Top 5 for 2014, we’re calling out the leading hazards that cause people to slip, trip and fall on job sites and in ReStores.
Top 3 Hazards That Cause Slips, Trips and Falls at Job Sites
- Not using Personal Fall Protection Equipment. The use of personal fall protection equipment—such as lanyards, limiters and harnesses—greatly reduces the likelihood of falls on job sites. Even under seemingly safe conditions, the safety of workers from heights should never be compromised by not using an appropriate form of fall protection equipment.
- Debris around the job site and unkempt porches, steps and ramps. It’s easy for construction sites to become cluttered with debris. Make the extra effort to keep the area inside and outside of your work sites free of hazards like nails, boards, scraps of material, and power cords. Uneven spots, loose gravel, and other similar hazards on porches, steps and ramps should be repaired promptly as they are surefire ways to cause slips and falls. Also, be sure that sturdy and secure handrails are in place. Remind your volunteers and staff to watch where they’re walking and avoid running on the job site.
- Unprotected holes. Holes around the construction process are inevitable and they must be covered promptly. Coverings should be all of the following:
able to withstand a 200 lb. load;
bigger than the opening itself;
distinguishable from the surrounding area/floor;
secured to the surrounding area/floor to avoid shifting; labeled as “Do Not Remove” along with wording that indicates a hole or opening is present.
Do you address these slip and fall hazards promptly and correctly? The few minutes it takes to ensure these items are properly looked after will pay off with reduced risk for slips and falls.
Top 3 Hazards That Cause Slips, Trips and Falls in ReStores
- Cluttered and otherwise dangerous aisles and sales floor. The floor space in your ReStore should be kept clean and clear for your patrons. Some of the key areas to pay attention to are:
Keep the majority of your inventory off of the floor and on shelves or in racks.
Clean up spills right away and mop floors frequently when they are wet due to rain or snow. Place a caution sign around the wet areas. – Rugs, carpets, and mats should lie flat, with no curled edges, bunching or tears.
Steps and other changes in elevation should be clearly marked with brightly colored paint or reflective tape.
2. Parking lots in disrepair. Look out for the following to keep your parking lot in good order:
Loose gravel, potholes and exposed rebar should be repaired right away.
Paint parking blocks/stops with brightly colored paint to make them more visible.
During winter weather, ice and snow should be cleared to an area away from where customers and anyone else might walk.
3. Unkempt sidewalks, steps, and ramps. Sturdy and secure handrails are required where there are steps, ramps, or sloping surfaces, both inside and outside the building. Also keep these spaces clear of loose gravel and dirt.
Are any of these slip and fall hazards present in your ReStore? Take the time to evaluate these areas and take necessary steps to make any necessary improvements.