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National Safety Month – Week 4: Slips, Trips and Falls

June 19, 2012

Each June, the National Safety Council encourages organizations to get involved in National Safety Month. NSM is an annual observance dedicated to educating the public about the leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths and to influencing safer behaviors.

During the month of June, the National Safety Council promotes National Safety Month by bring awareness to some of the leading causes of preventable injury. Each week carries a theme that brings attention to critical safety issues, and this week’s theme is preventing slips, trips and falls.

According to statistics from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), slips, trips, and falls constitute the majority of general industry accidents. They cause 15% of all accidental deaths, and are second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities. While there are many situations that can cause a slip and fall injury, most of these injuries are preventable.  Here are some tips:

    1. Wear footwear that is appropriate for the conditions inside and outside. On smooth or wet surfaces, wear slip resistant soles. On snowy, icy and rainy days wear boots to work and change after arriving.
    2. Be aware of changes in elevation and changes in walking surfaces. Hazard zones include moving from carpet to tile or dry tile to wet tile; uneven sidewalks, or grass and decorative paths.
    3. When carrying a load, make sure you can see over and around it. Plan your travel path and get help carrying heavy or awkward objects.
    4. Keep desk drawers and file cabinets closed when they’re not being used.
    5. Always use a ladder or step stool. Never stand on a chair, desk, shelf, or any other unstable items to reach something.
    6. During winter months, remove snow and ice from walking paths and apply sand and salt when necessary.
    7. Do not store or allow equipment, tools, materials or other obstacles to be placed in aisles or walkways.
    8. Practice good workplace housekeeping.  This means instructing employees to immediately clean up, correct, remove or report unsafe conditions such as spills, electric cords, frayed carpets, worn stairs and other hazards.

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