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Trips, Slips and Falls

2048 px x 858 px bProblem: People fall by tripping over some object

such as a tool on the floor, stairs or walkways.

Solution: To remedy this situation it is necessary that all places where people walk be kept clear of such tripping hazards. Employees must not leave tools or materials in places where  they or others can trip over them. Work areas should be designed and arranged to eliminate pipe, conduit, supports, etc., at the floor level. Tools and other equipment should be placed in their proper storage areas when not being used.

 

Problem: People fall by stumbling into holes in the floor or over uneven floors caused by loose boards, cracked concrete, etc.

Solution: The obvious remedy for this situation is to keep floors in good condition and to repair defects as they occur. The actual prevention job may require the elimination of the causes of worn floors, such as steel wheeled carts and hand trucks, excessive vibration of machines, or too heavy loading of the floor for the type of construction.

 

Tripping and Stumbling Hazards

Objects out of place

Objects or materials in walkways

Tools on the floor

Projecting parts of machines or equipment

Equipment or material on stairs

Scrap or waste materials

Pipe or conduit set near floor level

Extension cords, power cables, air hoses, welding cables,

fuel, gas and oxygen hoses

Uneven floor surface:

Holes and depressions in floor or other walkway

Projections—warped or loose boards or blocks

Broken floor surface

Uneven patches

Uncovered drains, pits

Bent floor boards or plates

Loose or poorly fitted grating

Sudden changes in pitch or elevation

Sagging or expanded floor supports

 

Problem: People fall by slipping on floors, stairs, etc. which are wet from water, oil or chemicals.

Solution: If it is unavoidable for the floor to be wet, the flooring should be of nonslip type, or the employees should wear shoes with nonskid soles, or both. If the floors are normally dry, water spillage should be cleaned up immediately. Spilled oil, grease or chemicals should be removed at once and the source of the spill checked and corrected.

Slipping Hazards

Wet floors, stairs, walkways:

Water

Oil or grease

Chemicals

Smooth floors, stairs, walkways:

Waxed, polished surface

Metal plate or cover

Tile, terrazzo, marble

 

Problem: People not seeing where they are stepping. This may be caused by poorly lighted areas; by carrying or pushing loads that are so large as to obstruct the view; or by being distracted and not paying attention to where they are going.

Solution: Observation and recognition of these hazards by supervisors or other workers should be reported to the proper authority immediately. Supervisors have the additional special responsibilities with regard to safety in the workplace of encouraging safe work habits and correcting unsafe ones, explaining to the workers all the potential hazards associated with their work areas and being responsive to employee requests for action or information regarding possible hazards in the workplace.

 

Problem: People fall because of faulty stairs or handrails. Narrow, unevenly spaced, broken treads or stairs that are too steep present conditions that are unnatural. Broken, improperly set or lack of handrails can result in falls that could have been prevented.

Solution: People learn to walk on standard stairs and get into the habit of stepping a certain distance. Any variation of the stair is liable to cause a misstep. Be sure that fixed industrial stairs are installed: with a minimum width of 22 inches; with angles to the horizontal of between 30 and 50 degrees (See Table D-1); with treads that are reasonably slip resistant; with rise height and tread width that is uniform throughout the flight of stairs; designed and constructed to carry a load at least five times the anticipated weight; with a minimum vertical clearance of seven feet; and with standard railings provided and installed in accordance with §1910.23 and 1910.24.

 

Problem: People fall from high places.

Solution: Walkways, tramways, scaffolds and piles are hazardous unless proper safeguards and safe work methods are used. Use the proper personal protective equipment for the situation. Be sure to check over all equipment before use to ensure it is in good condition. Keep all areas clean: no scrap, loose tools or tangled lines. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to the letter on all equipment.

 

Table D-1

Angle to horizontal          Rise               Tread run

(in inches) (in inches)

30°35′ …………………………..61/2……………11

32°08′ …………………………..63/4 …………..103/4

33°41′ …………………………..7 ……………..101/2

35°16′ …………………………..71/4 …………..101/4

36°52′ …………………………..71/2 …………..10

38°29′ …………………………..73/4……………93/4

40°08′ …………………………..8..…………….91/2

41°44′ …………………………..81/4……………91/4

43°22′ …………………………..81/2……………9

45°00′ …………………………..83/4……………83/4

46°38′ …………………………..9………………81/2

48°16′ …………………………..91/4……………81/4

49°54′ …………………………..91/2……………8

 

 

Problem: People fall because of unsafe ladders. Ladders may be unsafe because of their construction, condition or use.

Solution: It is necessary that ladders be inspected carefully at regular periods to detect and correct any structural defects or unsafe conditions, such as sharp edges, splinters or burrs. Training should be provided concerning safety-related work practices relating to ladders, and employees should be required to use the safe practices.

 

Safety Check List

  • Are floors, stairs and walkways clear and free from tools, materials, oil, grease, water or chemicals?
  • Are the floors and walkways smooth and free from holes, cracks and loose boards?
  • Where the operation requires the floor to be wet frequently, is the floor surface rough-finished concrete or some other nonslip type?
  • Are the employees encouraged to wear shoes with nonskid soles in potentially wet or slippery areas?
  • Are the walkways and work areas arranged so as to avoid tripping hazards at floor level?
  • Are barricades and warning signs used where unavoidable tripping hazards are present?
  • Have the workers been trained to replace items, such as tools, immediately after use?
  • Are walkways, stairs, ramps and work areas adequately lighted?
  • Are the stairs in good condition and provided with handrails?
  • Are the risers on stairs of equal height?
  • Are the treads of stairs smooth and free from holes, cracks and excess wear?
  • Are ladders in good condition, free from cracks, burrs and splinters?
  • Are all ladders inspected regularly by a competent person?
  • Are all elevated walkways, tramways, catwalks and scaffolds provided with toeboards, handrails, and intermediate railings?
Posted in : Blog
About The Author
Health and safety Training provider at Kochi, India
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