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Safety Trainer Tackles Slips, Trips and Falls

Julie Copeland

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During a recent customer visit, one of our skilled Arbill trainers encountered a number ofSlips, trip and fall injuries cost employers approximately $40,000 per incident. potential hazards while touring a warehouse.

First, he noticed a fire hose on the ground along a wall with workers passing by. Just ahead, a young worker was on a ladder about 10 feet up leaning over to adjust a sign. No one was holding the ladder as the worker stretched towards the sign. This sent the Safety Manager, who was giving the tour, into a tizzy as he scolded the worker and forced him to get off the ladder.

The tour continued as our trainer noticed an office worker wearing open-toed shoes venture into the steel-toed shoes area of the warehouse to grab some supplies. The office worker yelled “sorry” to the Safety Manager as she rushed back to the office area with an armful of binders.

At the end of the tour, the trainer asked to use the restroom before meeting with the floor managers. In the restroom, near the sink, he noticed a small puddle of water on the floor.

Meeting with the managers before addressing the workers, the trainer shared his observations about obstacles, proper ladder use, proper equipment, and slippage on spills. One of the managers volunteered that the incidents shared were minimal risks and not really worth reporting. Our trainer then asked how many days the organization had been without an incident that led to someone getting hurt. The answer was 36 days. Just a little more than a month before, an older worker slipped while on a ladder, fell about 5 feet and needed hip surgery.

The trainer talked about having a Culture of Safety and the importance of having support from the managers so that their workers would understand the importance of following the rules… and reporting incidents and near-misses. He talked about the value of safety.

He also quoted recent Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) which included:

  • 65% of fall-related injuries occur as a result of falls from same-level walking surfaces;

  • The services, wholesale, and retail trade industries together accounted for over 60% of injuries that resulted from same level falls;

  • The manufacturing sector alone accounted for 16 percent of injuries that resulted from same-level falls;

  • While same-level falls are more common, elevated falls are often the most serious and cause more severe injuries to a les number of people;

  • Over 60% of all elevated falls are from a height of less than 10 feet;

  • Over one million Americans suffer a slip, trip, and fall injury every year;

  • An estimated 20 – 30% of people who experience a slip and fall will suffer moderate to severe injuries such as bruises, hip fractures, or head injuries;

  • The most common fractures that occur from slip and fall accidents are fractures are of the spine, hip, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm, and hand;

  • Slip and fall accidents are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and these account for 46% of fatal falls among older Americans;

  • Slips, trips and fall accidents can also cause other complications including: Death, Incapacitation, Broken bones and fractures, Long-term medical complications, Head trauma and Spinal cord injuries;

  • 1 in 6 of all lost-time work injuries result from slips, trips and falls;

  • Slips, trips and fall injuries make up almost 20 percent of all job related injuries;

  • It is estimated that these injuries result in an average of 11 days away from work;

  • Approximately 19, 565 people die in the U.S. annually due to injuries caused by unintentional falls; 

  • According to OSHA, slips, trips and falls cause 15% of all accidental deaths;

  • Slips, trips and fall injuries account for between 12 and 15 percent of all Workers' Compensation expenses;

The statistic that seemed to get the most attention was this: Slips, trip and fall injuries cost employers approximately $40,000 per incident.

The managers agreed that changes were necessary for the safety of their workers and, also, to help improve production. The trainer outlined a plan to educate and inspire results among the managers and workers. He also spent extra time focusing on ladder safety.

It’s been three months since our trainer met with those managers and workers. In those three months, the walkways have been cleared of hoses and other obstacles. Workers have been encouraged to report near misses, and they have displayed more interest in safety for themselves and their coworkers. Office supplies have been moved back to the office to avoid needless and unsafe warehouse traffic. And there have not been any incidents or downtime due to safety issues.

Your Arbill representative can help assess your locations for workplace hazards and help build a culture of safety in your organization.  Contact us or visit our website.

Have a safe day!

Topics: Arbill, accident prevention, Worker safety, slips trips and falls, Keep workers safe

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