Slips, trips, and falls constitute the majority of general industry accidents. They cause 15% of all accidental deaths, and are generally second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities. The OSHA standards for walking and working surfaces apply to all permanent places of employment, except where only domestic, mining, or agricultural work is performed.
There are many situations that can cause slips, trips, and falls. This includes things such as:
- Ice, wet spots, grease, polished floors;
- Loose flooring or carpeting;
- Uneven walking surfaces, clutter;
- Electrical cords;
- Open desk drawers and filing cabinets; and
- Damaged ladder steps.
The controls needed to prevent these hazards are usually obvious, but too often ignored. Controls can include such things as:
- Keeping walkways and stairs clear of scrap and debris;
- Coiling up extension cords, lines, and hoses when not in use;
- Keeping electrical and other wires out of the way;
- Wearing lug soles in icy weather;
- Clearing parking lots, stairs, and walkways in snowy weather; and
- Using salt/sand as needed.