Slips, trips and falls were the second leading cause of nonfatal occupational injuries or illnesses involving days away from work in 2013, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
OSHA’s Walking-Working Surfaces Standard (1910.22(a)) states that all workplaces should be “kept clean and orderly and in a sanitary condition.” The rule includes passageways, storerooms and service rooms. Floors should be clean and dry. Drainage should be present where “wet processes are used.”
Employers should select adequate flooring (e.g., cement, ceramic tile or another material), as different types of flooring hold up better under certain conditions, said Fred Norton, technical director of ergonomics and manufacturing technology for Risk Control Services, Liberty Mutual Insurance in Walnut Creek, CA. Then, develop and implement housekeeping procedures using appropriate cleaners.
“Things like oils and grease – if you don’t use the right kind of cleaning protocols, you’ll just spread slipperiness around rather than getting it up and off the floor,” Norton said.
To help prevent slip, trip and fall incidents, the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety recommends the following:
- Report and clean up spills and leaks.
- Keep aisles and exits clear of items.
- Consider installing mirrors and warning signs to help with blind spots.
- Replace worn, ripped or damage flooring.
- Consider installing anti-slip flooring in areas that can’t always be cleaned.
- Use drip pans and guards.
In addition, provide mats, platforms, false floors or “other dry standing places” where useful, according to OSHA. Every workplace should be free of projecting nails, splinters, holes and loose boards.
Gray added that employers should audit for trip hazards, and encourage workers to focus on the task at hand.
The above is an excerpt from the article, “11 tips for effective workplace housekeeping.” For more information visit http://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/.