Slips and falls prevention

 Slips and falls prevention

Portable heaters are used extensively in the construction industry to permit work to continue during cold weather. They may also be used in many other occupancies as a supplemental heating system or where a permanent heating system does not exist or is out of service.
The main hazards associated with the use of portable heaters are fires, carbon monoxide poisonings, and burns.
Portable heaters are the cause of many serious fires because of improper placement or lack of adequate safeguards. Maintaining adequate clearance from combustible materials is critical. Make sure that winds cannot blow canvas, plastic, or other combustible materials against heaters.
Heaters should only be used in a safe area. Do not use in tightly enclosed rooms where there is limited ventilation, or in garages or workshops where there may be flammable/combustible liquids or combustible dusts.
Before using a portable heater refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for ventilation requirements, clearance from combustible material requirements and other safety precautions

Slips and falls are a leading cause for workers’ compensation and general liability claims. All slip and fall incidents should be investigated to find the cause and to determine corrective action. Most could be avoided with some basic attention to small details and following good housekeeping practices.

Exterior

  • Do proper snow and ice removal on parking lots and sidewalks. Direct gutters so that run-off will not freeze on walking surfaces.
  • Use snow/ice melting products and/or sand when necessary. Regular inspections of walking surfaces should be conducted during periods of winter weather hazards. 
  • Perform periodic inspections of both interior and exterior walking surfaces looking for spills or other materials that could lead to slip or fall accidents. Also look for defects such as holes or cracks and repair as soon as possible. Isolate these areas if necessary through use of barricades.
  • Quickly respond to spills and use appropriate cleanup methods. 
  • Provide adequate lighting. 
  • Keep walking surface areas free of debris and trash.
  • Identify changes in elevation (painting edge of step or curb, speed bumps).

Interior

  • Keep storage of items out of aisles, and off floors and stairways.
  • Institute a daily sweeping program to keep aisles free of debris or trash.
  • Provide floor mats at entrance ways and make sure they don’t present a tripping hazard (secure if needed). 
  • Do not run electrical cords, wires, or hoses across walkways.
  • Stack items on shelving so that they don’t extend past the edge of the shelf and present a tripping hazard.
  • Employees working in wet or slippery areas should wear shoes with slip-resistant soles.
  • Employees should ask for assistance when carrying heavy or awkward loads.
  • Maintain a good housekeeping program in storage areas with material stored on shelving when possible and all material stored in orderly fashion.
  • Use proper equipment such as ladders or step stools when working above floor height. Do not stand on chairs, boxes, milk crates, etc. Inspect equipment for defects before using.
  • Rubber floor mats should be provided in wet areas such as cooking or kitchen sink areas.
  • Consider application of anti-slip floor treatments or waxes. The product must be compatible for use with the flooring so as not to create an additional hazard or damage the flooring material.
  • Provide adequate lighting. Try to ensure that there isn’t a big change in lighting levels coming from outside to inside. Transitioning from bright sunlight to a dim interior can be temporarily disorienting.
  • Apply non-skid strips to slippery stairs. Stairs should be uniform height and width.
  • Install covers or guardrails for floor and wall openings. Secure all hole covers and railings.
  • Mark changes in elevation, even minor ones.

 

This bulletin has been prepared as an underwriting reference for members of Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company and does not signify approval or disapproval by the Company of any product or device. Please do not copy or reproduce any portion of this bulletin without the written permission of Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company. The information included in this publication and program was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, however Grinnell Mutual makes no guarantee of results and assumes no liability in connection with its use. It is the user’s responsibility to comply with any applicable regulations or laws. Information obtained from or via Grinnell Mutual should not be used as the basis for legal advice, but should be confirmed with alternative sources. Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, Grinnell Mutual, and coordinating logos or marks are registered trademarks of Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company. © Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, 2017.