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  • Workplace Slip/Fall Injuries

  • Workplace Slip/Fall Injuries


    Housekeeping is an essential element in minimizing the hazards of wet or oily floors. Certainly the timely removal of spills or other sources of water or oil on walking-working surfaces will reduce the potential for slips and falls; however, the physical act of maintaining such surfaces in a clean condition (using water, soaps, and waxes) increases these risks for both the "cleaners" and those who traverse the surfaces being cleaned. The following recommendations provide guidance for minimizing the number of injuries related to slips and falls.

    Housekeeping Recommendations

    o Training and requirements should be implemented regarding the notification and cleanup of all spills or other unexpected sources of water or oil as soon as they occur or are found. This is critical in high traffic areas, such as entryways, cafeterias, and rest rooms.

    o The entranceways of all buildings should have adequate means of minimizing the tracking of snow, rain, or mud into the building.

    o Warning signs/barriers (preferably with flashing lights) should be used in all areas where floors are known to be, or have a high potential to be, wet or oily (e.g., at entranceways during bad weather; in halls, corridors, or rooms where floors are being cleaned or waxed; at cafeteria entrances; and at all spill locations).

    o Janitorial activities involving floors should be scheduled, as much as possible, during off-hours or on weekends.

    Additional Recommendations

    o Work planning procedures should be reviewed to ensure that they include provisions for ensuring the cleanliness of tools, equipment, and the area (both prior to and upon completion of the task) and for handling inadvertent fluid spills.

    o Proposed design changes and maintenance activities should be reviewed, and their priorities for implementation should be raised, if safety is being compromised.

    o Adequate lighting should be provided in those areas where floors or other work surfaces are frequently wet or oily (e.g., parking garages).

    o Areas housing wet processes (e.g., milling, cutting, decontaminating, laundering, and photo processing) should be inspected for adequate drainage to ensure that workers have dry places to stand and dry ingress/egress.

    o Janitors, food service employees, and others working in slick environments should be provided with and required to wear, footwear designed to minimize the likelihood of slipping.

    o The physical capabilities of all workers should be considered prior to making job assignments.

    o General employee hazards training should address specific hazards associated with the following activities:
      o working in areas where carpets are wet
      o using crutches on wet floors
      o carrying or lifting heavy/bulky objects on wet/oily floors
      o using ladders on slick floors, while wearing slick shoes
      o detecting slick spots on dark-colored floors
      o wearing proper footwear
      o failing to use handrails

    This information came from a
    DOE online article.

    *** Any law, statute, regulation or other precedent is subject to change at any time ***

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