Eating on the go, rushing to a meeting, texting, talking on the phone, checking email on your phone – these are just some of the distractions that may lead to a slip, trip and fall. Obstacles include open file cabinet or desk drawers, cords from equipment or chargers, boxes that were just delivered or emptied, that coffee spill, the rolled up edge of a rug, the uneven area on the sidewalk, and when working from home pets can get underfoot and cause a fall.

Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries, including concussions – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Falls are the 3rd leading cause of unintentional death in the US, accounting for nearly 32,000 deaths in 2015 according to the National Safety Council.

What Can I Do?

Secure electrical cords away from walking areas such as hallways and in front of your desk.Use non-skid rugs and replace them when the edges begin to roll.Keep drawers and cabinets closed when you are not actively using them.Wipe up spills immediately.Refrain from walking while distracted – stay focused on your surroundings.Look for loose flooring and have it repaired or replaced.Identify uneven surfaces and have them repaired or replaced.

Where Do Falls Happen?

DoorwaysRampsCluttered walkwaysUneven surfacesWet floorsStairs

Getting Everyone On-Board

Making sure the work environment is free of hazards and properly maintained is important in preventing slips, trips and falls, but it is only part of the solution. Encourage employees to make behavioral changes to reduce the risk of falls. Be attentive and keep work areas clutter-free.

What Should I Do If I Fall at Work?

If you are seriously injured, seek immediate medical evaluation and care.Notify your supervisor as soon as possible.If you are able to identify the cause – correct it or submit a work request to have the issue fixed. Notify others of the risk and mark or block the area if the risk is not able to be quickly removed.

If you’re concerned about falls in the workplace, contact AWS today! Our on-site injury prevention specialists will work with you to develop a program that meets your needs and exceeds expectations.