Overview: Slipping, tripping and falling in the workplace can cause serious injuries, and even death (such as when a construction worker falls from a great height). It is imperative that employers take steps to reduce the amount of slips, trips and falls in the workplace in order to comply with OSHA standards, lower workers' compensation claims and, most importantly, reduce workplace injuries and fatalities by increasing workplace safety.
Slips occur when there is not enough traction on the ground causing someone to lose his or her balance. Spills, weather conditions and slick floors are common causes of slips. Employers should make sure floors are dry and, if necessary, employees have shoes with enough traction to avoid workplace spills.
Trips occur when someone loses his or her balance when coming into contact with another object. Loose wires, crowded staircases, bad lighting and uneven walking surfaces significantly increase the chance of a trip. Employers should run wires and cords along walls, reduce or eliminate clutter from floors and keep walking areas free from debris and unnecessary objects.
Employers must ensure safety gear used to secure workers who work from heights is adequate and functioning properly. Supervisors must then ensure employees actually use the gear.
Author: Melissa Gonzalez Boyce, JD, Legal Editor
According to new data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018 marked the first time since 2012 that the rate of nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses failed to decline.
This briefing for supervisors examines the law and best practices for preventing employee slips, trips and falls, including differentiating between a slip, trip and fall and identifying and resolving their causes in the workplace.
An employer may use this policy to protect employer equipment, data and property as well as provide protection for employees and visitors and to reduce trespassing. Trespassing and unauthorized access of employer premises often lead to criminal behavior, such as vandalism, industrial espionage, terrorism and assaults.
As recommended by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, employers should post the Fall Prevention Poster (OSHA 3531-04).
HR guidance on stopping slips, trips and falls in the workplace.