Published on January 14, 2008
Slips, Trips, and Falls: Slips, Trips, and Falls Module One What this presentation covers: What this presentation covers The costs of slip, trip, and fall events Definitions Causes of slips and trips Factors increasing the risk of slips and trips: Work environment Human factors Note: These “Slips, Trips, and Falls” modules mainly cover falls caused by slips and trips, i.e., falls at the same level. Falls from elevation will be covered further in other modules, coming soon. Slide3: Ways to prevent slips, trips, and falls: (What Module Two Covers) Designing the workplace and work processes Good housekeeping; maintaining clear pathways Safe walking practices Wearing proper footwear Falling “properly” Slips, Trips, and Falls Are Costly: Slips, Trips, and Falls Are Costly pain lost wages temporary or permanent disability reduced quality of life depression loss in productivity and business increased industrial insurance premiums costs associated with training replacement worker To Worker: To Employer: Slips and trips can happen in any part of the workplace, inside or outdoors. Slips and trips often result in falls and more serious outcomes, including disabling injuries and even death. The costs to both worker and employer can be great. Slip, Trip, and Fall Incidents Occur Frequently : Slip, Trip, and Fall Incidents Occur Frequently 15 percent of all accidental deaths (≈12,000/year), second leading cause behind motor vehicles one of the most frequent types of reported injuries – about 25% of reported claims per fiscal year over 17% of all disabling work injuries are the result of falls According to the U. S. Department of Labor, slips, trips, and falls make up the majority of general industry accidents. MANY OF THESE COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED Injuries from Slips, Trips, and Falls: Injuries from Slips, Trips, and Falls Sprains, strains Bruises, contusions Fractures Abrasions, lacerations Knee, Ankle, Foot Wrist, Elbow Back Shoulder Hip Head Common types of injuries: Commonly affected body parts: Slide7: Slips and Trips Can Initiate a Cascade Of Events Resulting in More Serious Injuries or Death The following is a fatality case from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program. Apprentice Lineman Electrocuted While Setting Utility Pole A 34-year-old male apprentice lineman (the victim) was electrocuted while assisting a co-worker in setting a wooden utility pole. The pole had been raised between two phases of a 34,500-volt overhead power-line and the victim was helping set the pole by steadying the butt over the hole. The victim slipped on the wet ground and his unprotected upper body fell against the pole while the top of the pole contacted one phase of the powerline (19,900-volt phase to ground). The victim was wearing rubber lineman's gloves as required by company policy. The wet connections allowed the current to travel down the pole, entering the victim's chest and exiting to ground through the victim's right elbow. The victim raised up, stepped back from the pole, and collapsed to the ground. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was initiated immediately by the co-worker and a passing emergency medical technician; however, efforts to revive the victim were unsuccessful. Definitions: Definitions Slip When there is too little friction or traction between your feet (footwear) and the walking or working surface, and you lose your balance. Trip When your foot (or lower leg) hits an object and your upper body continues moving, throwing you off balance. Fall Occurs when you are too far off your center of balance. Friction: The resistance encountered when an object (foot) is moved in contact with another (ground). Friction is necessary in order to walk without slipping. or When you step down unexpectedly to a lower surface (Misstep) and lose your balance, e.g., stepping off a curb. Definitions: Fall-at-the-same-level When you fall to the surface you are walking or standing on, or fall into or against objects at or above the surface. Two types of Falls: Fall-to-lower-level When you fall to a level below the one on which you are walking, working, or standing. Step or stairs Ladder Platform Loading dock Equipment Etc. For example: Definitions Causes of Slips: Causes of Slips “wet” contamination/spills on smooth floors or surfaces: water, fluids, mud, grease, oil, food, etc. “dry” contamination making surfaces slippery: dusts, powders, granules, wood, lint, plastic wrapping, etc. Some common causes of slips include the following: Water on floor of PVC pipe manufacturing plant Wood dust and debris on shop floor Causes of Slips: Causes of Slips highly polished floors, such as marble, terrazzo, or ceramic tile (can be extremely slippery even when dry) freshly waxed surfaces transitioning from one floor type to another (e.g., carpeted to vinyl/ smooth surface flooring) Transitioning from one type of flooring to another with less traction may cause a slip if one does not adjust for the change. Causes of Slips: Causes of Slips sloped walking surfaces loose, unanchored rugs or mats loose floorboards or tiles that can shift shoes with wet, muddy, greasy, or oily soles Sloping driveway into the lower level of a garage, which had no safe designated pedestrian walkways Causes of Slips: Causes of Slips ramps and gang planks without skid-/slip- resistant surfaces metal surfaces, such as dockboards and dock plates, platforms, construction plates or covers on sidewalks and roads, etc. Metal has a lower force of friction/traction (i.e., is more slippery) than many other materials. Metal surfaces, such as dock boards, can become smooth and slippery with wear, and are extremely slick when wet, muddy, or greasy. Causes of Slips: Causes of Slips mounting and dismounting trucks, tractors, heavy equipment, machinery, etc.; getting on and off trailers, truck beds climbing up and down ladders Metal rungs, steps, footholds, treads, running boards, platforms, etc. on equipment and ladders become even slicker when worn smooth and contaminated with water, mud, oil, grease, dirt, and debris. Causes of Slips: Causes of Slips loose irregular surfaces, such as gravel sloped or uneven terrain, sidewalks muddy terrain weather hazards: rain, sleet, ice, snow, hail, frost leaves, pine needles, plant debris (especially when wet) Causes of Trips and Missteps: Causes of Trips and Missteps Some common causes of trips include: uncovered cables, wires, or extension cords across aisles or pathways clutter, obstacles in aisles, walkways, and work areas open cabinet, file, or desk drawers and doors In an emergency, you don’t want any obstructions blocking your exit route and preventing your escape from danger. Pathway to exit blocked Causes of Trips and Missteps: Causes of Trips and Missteps changes in elevation or levels (e.g., unmarked steps, ramps) rumpled or rolled up carpets/ mats, carpets with curled edges Threshold separating carpeting and vinyl flooring. Even a slight change in elevation can cause you to trip and fall. irregularities in walking surfaces (e.g., thresholds, gaps) missing or uneven floor tiles and bricks Causes of Trips and Missteps: Causes of Trips and Missteps taller or shorter (varying rise) shallower tread depth otherwise irregular damaged steps non-uniform, improper or irregular steps: Over 2.5 million falls on stairways result in about 2 million disabling injuries yearly. Steep stairs (52-degree slope) with tall steps. Note that it is also missing a handrail on the left and a mid-rail on the existing one. Causes of Trips and Missteps: Causes of Trips and Missteps debris, accumulated waste materials trailing cables, pallets, tools, etc. in gangways objects protruding from walking surface uneven surfaces sidewalk/curb drops Building materials, hoses, debris clutter the pathway. A trip here will likely result in falling on some-thing that will cause further injury. Slightly sloping, uneven sidewalk and adjoining parking lot entrance with deep cracks, gaps Causes of Trips and Missteps: Causes of Trips and Missteps Trips and falls also occur in parking lots and garages when you travel through parking areas and enter your workplace or other sites during business travel. speed bumps tire bumpers (wheel stops) wheelchair accessible curbs, ramps driveways Speed bump Unmarked elevation changes: Tire bumper Wheelchair accessible curb Be careful also of slippery conditions in the parking lot due to rain, ice, snow, frost, sleet, and hail. Conditions Increasing the Risk of Slips And Trips: Conditions Increasing the Risk of Slips And Trips Conditions and situations that make it difficult to see potential hazards or that distract your attention can contribute toward a slip or trip. poor lighting glare shadows Can you see the worker on the stairs? bulky or awkward personal protective equipment (PPE) excess noise, temperature Human Factors Increasing the Risk ofSlips And Trips: Human Factors Increasing the Risk of Slips And Trips Eyesight, visual perception Age Physical state, fatigue Stress, illness Medications, alcohol, drug effects Physical Condition Health and physical condition can impair a person’s vision, judgment, and balance. Human Factors Increasing the Risk ofSlips And Trips: Human Factors Increasing the Risk of Slips And Trips Carrying or moving cumbersome objects, or too many objects, that obstruct your view impair your balance prevent you from holding onto handrails Human Behavior Behaviors – actions you choose and control (e.g., working safely) – can contribute to a slip, trip, and fall injury if you set yourself up for one. Human Factors Increasing the Risk ofSlips And Trips: Human Factors Increasing the Risk of Slips And Trips Inattentive walking, distractions (e.g., using cell phone, talking and not watching where you’re going, etc.) Taking shortcuts; not using walkways or designated, cleared pathways Being in a hurry, rushing around Human Factors Increasing the Risk ofSlips And Trips: Human Factors Increasing the Risk of Slips And Trips Poor housekeeping (allowing clutter to accumulate, not maintaining clean dry floors, etc.) Using improper cleaning methods (e.g., incorrectly using wax or polish; or trying to clean up grease spill with water) Not using signage when slip or trip hazards exist Water leakage from ice machines not mopped up; no wet floor warning signs Messy work space Human Factors Increasing the Risk ofSlips And Trips: Human Factors Increasing the Risk of Slips And Trips Wearing improper footwear not suitable for the environment High heels Leather or smooth-surfaced soles Taps on heels Footwear (Reduced traction) Resources: Resources WISHA http://www.lni.wa.gov/ National Floor Safety Institute http://www.nfsi.org/ American National Standards Institute http://www.ansi.org/ OSHA http://www.osha.gov NIOSH http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/homepage.html Slide28: Thank you for taking the time to learn about safety and health and how to prevent future injuries and illnesses.