According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), slips, trips and falls produce the majority of general industry accidents. They cause 15% of all accidental deaths, which makes these hazards second only to motor vehicles as a cause of workplace fatalities. And, per statistics cited by the National Safety Council (NSC), falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the United States, resulting in close to 8.6 million emergency room visits each year.
With these facts in mind, there’s little wonder why this critical safety issue – preventing slips, trips and falls – is being called out as a special theme this June for National Safety Month, dedicated to educating and influencing behavior around the leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths.
How can you keep safe from fall risks, both at work and at home? What’s important to keep in mind is that most slips, trips, and falls could have been prevented. A greater awareness of these types of hazards is key. To learn prevention tools and tips, there are a number of online resources available to help, including the NSC’s fall prevention page and OSHA’s safety and health topics page on walking/working surfaces.
In the workplace, the overall consequences of a slip, trip, or fall incident can be costly for both the employee and the employer. Resulting injuries may impact a worker’s ability to do his or her job – or even cause death. Employers face costs related to loss of productivity and increased insurance premiums, while workers face lost wages and out-of-pocket expenses.
In order to decrease slip, trip, and fall risks – and hopefully avoid an accident – identifying the hazards, reducing or eliminating them, and communicating to employees about hazards and facility rules are all important steps to be taken at workplaces. Safety warnings, like those shown below, can also help to raise awareness and inform employees and visitors of slip, trip and fall hazards, and reinforce and remind about safety procedures and an organization’s safety culture.
These Clarion safety warnings – designed with best practice formatting to get noticed – use descriptive word messages combined with symbols to help ensure that the hazards are clearly communicated and understood.