Falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the United States, accounting for approximately 8.9 million visits to the emergency department annually (NSC Injury Facts 2011).

FALLS ARE THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN CONSTRUCTION. In 2010, there were 264 fall fatalities out of 774 total fatalities in construction. These deaths are preventable.

Slips, Trips & Fall Hazards to Be On the Lookout For (BOLO)

Extension Cords

  • When possible, wind the cord along a baseboard. Letting it cross open walking spaces or to freestanding tables and decorations creates trip hazards.
  • Use extension cords as a temporary solution. When you’re done, roll the cord up and put away.
  • Watch out for dangling cords. It’s too easy to pull or trip over a cord that is hanging from a table top, especially if young children are anywhere near.

Step Stools and Ladders

  • Be sure to use the right equipment for the job – portable, single, extension or fixed ladder.
  • A straight or extension ladder should be placed 1 foot away from the surface it rests against for every 4 feet of ladder height.
  • Use a tool belt – don’t climb with tools in hand.
  • For construction workers, OSHA has several training tools available, including: Safe Use of Extension Ladders and Safe Use of Stepladders
slips, trips, falls_ladder safety

Lookout for:

  • Unstable work surfaces
  • Unguarded heights
  • Cluttered walkways
  • Wetness or spills
  • Uneven flooring
  • Unexpected steps down or up

Quick Tips on Slips, Trips & Fall Hazards

  • Wear shoes with good support and slip-resistant soles.
  • Keep drawers and cabinet doors closed at all times.
  • Be sure stairways are adequately lit and handrails have been installed on both sides.
  • Never stand on a chair, table, or other surface on wheels.
  • Some types of flooring, such as tile, may be easier to slip on when wet. Use mats and runners to prevent slips and falls.

More on Slips, Trips & Fall Hazards

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