Slips, Trips, and Falls: How They Can Be Avoided
Preventing slip, trip,and fall accidents on the premises of your business are essential to providing excellent customer service and avoiding significant loss, financially and otherwise. These types of incidents can be prevented if proper procedures are in place and policies are followed. Many factors may contribute to slips or falls, including water, oil, cleaning fluids, and other slippery liquids on the ground or walking surface. Obstacles such as work materials, clutter, and equipment may also create avoidable injuries for clients. Ice is also one of the major causes of injury, but as the warmer months are upon us, that is probably less of an issue presently.
As property managers, it is important you educate your employees and service crews on the best practices for ensuring all spills and other fluids are promptly cleaned up as well as how to avoid creating unnecessary obstacles. Regular and frequent inspections of work areas and walkways should also be performed in order to identify any reoccurring problem areas and equipment hazards that may lead to slips or falls. Even though slips, trips, and falls can lead to numerous injuries daily, they are also some of the easiest hazards to prevent or correct if approached head-on.
Steps for Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls
While we can’t really correct clumsiness, we can do everything else in our power to stop slips, trips, and falls from occurring, therefore removing liability. Whether it be due to slippery substances on the ground or an object or tools left in the walkway, most injuries caused by these factors can be thwarted. The first step is to properly train your employees, new and old, on safety procedures. If employees follow regulations for floor maintenance, walkway cleanup, parking lot cleanliness, and other procedures, this will drastically decrease the chance of a customer injuring themselves on your premises.
Tips for Avoiding Slips
- Always promptly clean up spills of slippery substances
- If you cannot clean up the area immediately, block it off somehow to ensure others are aware of the spill
- Special attention should be paid to housekeeping areas, stairways, and walkways
- Train work crews to try and prevent spills in the first place
- If there is a particular area that is a chronic problem (i.e. a leaky ceiling that causes a constant water puddle), make it a priority to get fixed
- Have a safe shoe policy in place: slips often occur because of poor footwear choice
Tips for Avoiding Trips and Falls on Your Property
Whether you have tenants, owners, contract workers, or anyone else visiting your place of work, it is imperative they are greeted with safe, clean, and maintained premises. From the parking lot, to the entryway, to the inside of your building, customers should not be greeted with any obstacles or substances that may cause them injury.
- Parking lots
- Illumination is key, make sure your parking lot is well lit
- Eliminate speed bumps, as they are a major tripping hazard
- Make sure the surface is regular and smooth and there are no potholes
- Walkways may crack due to settling surfaces, make sure they are smooth
- Check for debris regularly
- Ensure your drainage system is working properly so as not to create additional liquid
- Provide well-lit walkways
- Regardless of your flooring surface, make sure it is well-maintained
- Make sure there are no liquids or hard-to-see substances due to spills
Falls can occur as a result of many different factors, including an obstructed walkway, improperly cleaned up spills, or unmaintained external areas. In order to avoid liability and customer injury, it is important that you regularly inspect all areas of your building (inside and out) and advise your employees of best practices for avoiding such incidents.
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