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5 ways employees can avoid trips in the workplace

Fergal Bell
January20/ 2016

Workplace safety is mainly down to the employer who has a duty of care to take all reasonable measures to make sure the area is safe. However, it is important for employees to be mindful of their own safety and to take ownership of minimising trips and falls. Having an accident is never fun, as anyone who has slipped or gone over on their ankle will quickly tell you. Here are a few things you can do to help keep the workplace safe.

1. Report any accidents or near misses

This type of information is very useful for employers because it informs them about problem locations that they may need to address. Nine times out of ten it is the employees who are best placed to know where trips are likely to happen. This means that workers are often the ones who can highlight hazard spots and bring them to the attention of managers.

2. Damaged flooring

Cracked tiles and upturned carpets will often go unnoticed by casual observers, unless misfortune sees them taking a fall. On the other hand, workers who pass through these areas on a regular basis will usually spot any damage straight away. If you see any problems underfoot, let managers know so that they can sort it out.

3. Untidy floor areas

Other potential problems in the workplace are trailing leads and cables. These can be very dangerous as they are sometimes very hard to see but easy to trip over. You can help prevent falls by tidying cables and leads out of harm’s way. This goes for loose paper on floors as well, which is a common cause of falls, as are boxes and other types of packaging that sometimes get strewn about.

4. Food and liquids

Liquids spilled on floors are an obvious hazard but where foodstuffs come in it is not just banana skins that can send us flying. If you see that something has spilled or fallen on the floor, don’t leave it for someone else to sort out. The next person who comes across it could end up seeing it at floor level after they end up on the flat of their back. Take preventative action.

5. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Workplace locations that require PPE carry an inherent risk so if employees are given equipment like safety shoes it is essential to wear it on-site. If you are told to use PPE and are unsure why it should be used or in which areas then ask your manager. Additionally, if you notice any damage to the equipment or it doesn’t seem to be working properly, let your employer know. When PPE is used it is because a known risk has been identified and it is important for you to understand the nature of this risk. Stay safe!

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Fergal Bell