Avoid Slips, Trips and Falls - Use Floor Safety Signs

There’s too much potential for dangerous situations in the workplace. Fire breakouts, electrical short circuits, exposure to extreme temperatures etc. are examples of possibly perilous situations. However, organizations typically have preventative procedures in place to counteract these hazards.

But imagine tripping and falling on a wet floor at work and ending up with a fracture that takes away 24 workdays out of an employee’s calendar; or enduring a disability lawsuit. Can an energy control system heal a broken limb? Will a fire safety procedure be applicable in this situation?

Deriving solutions to tripping and falling requires considering the issues respective to the situation. Problems related to tripping and falling at the workplace requires a solution of its own that cannot be provided by any other safety procedure incorporated by an organization.

OSHA, a part of the U.S Department of Labor reveals that trips, slips and falls (STF) make for 15 percent of the total accidental fatalities and are a close second to motor vehicle accidents. The magnitude of the fatalities indicate the lack of proper precautionary and curative measures implemented by companies and the need to address the issue of slips, trips and falls at workplaces more seriously.
The STF hazards that an employee faces at work include-
  • Slipping hazards such as spilling contaminants (water, grease, oil, fluid, fuel etc.) on the floor; poor and inadequate drainage system; indoor walking surface irregularities (damaged, warped, buckled or uneven flooring); outdoor walking surface irregularities (uneven ground, holes, rocks, leaves, debris etc.); weather conditions; insufficient lighting;stairs and handrails;ladders and stepstools.
  • Tripping Hazards such asclutter(loose cords, wires etc.) andthe incorrect use of floors mats and runners.<-? Not sure if this is a common American expression

The three simple yet effective steps that any company can and should take to prevent these hazards at workplace are-

Floor Safety Signs

Floor Safety Signs and barriers are precautionary measures that thwart any event which may cause a slip, trip or fall. Besides simply installing the signage, it is essential that the signs’ composition is comprised of the highest quality materials possible. A sign that fades or cannot resist the weather and chemical abuse a workstation may be subject to will not be helpful and just add clutter to the workplace.

Some of the Floor Safety Signs thatcan be used to prevent slips, trips and falls at workplace are given below:
Chemical Spill Keep Out FloorBoss Floor Sign
Chemical Spill Keep Out FloorBoss Floor Sign
Stand up Floor Signs: These are commonplace and can be found at almost every organization. Stand up Floor Signs caution people against spills that may occur at a workplace.A standard sign as shown above is a common sight at healthcare institutes and research facilities.
Cone Message Collars
Cone Message Collars
Cone Message Collars: Cones are mostly seen at roads and used to limit the access of traffic to a particular road, street, or part of a road or street. Cone Message Collars, however, can be used in many places besides roads. Signs posted on cones can be used at offices, industrial set-upsand healthcare facilities to restrict entrance to a particular area of the workplace. Employees can be kept away from certain areasthat may pose a risk to theirlives or health by settingCone Message Collars in place.
Floor Sign -  Watch Your Step
Floor Sign: Watch Your Step
Slip Safe Floor Signs: When they are posted right under your nose, these Slip Safe Floor Safety Signs (shown above) are hard to miss. Such signs work great for large industrial set-ups, where conventional wall-mounted signs are scattered and hardly visible. Cautionary messages like ‘Watch Your Step’make employees aware of a spillage or wet area. Such signs are slip-safe, which means that you will never slip or trip on them.

The significance of Floor Safety Signs in the workplace

  • Floor Safety Signs caution employees against STF hazards that may result in broken limbs and in some cases lead to death.
  • Awareness among employees increases when Floor Safety Signs are installed at workplace. Workers will likely be more careful with visual reinforcements.
  • The presence of a standard Floor Safety Signs can save an employer significant legal expenses in compensation claims made after STF events. Lawsuits and litigations after a slip, trip and fall event at workplace are hard to avoid in the absence of signs.
  • A good quality sign that lasts a long time can cut down overhead expenses.

Other measures:

Walkway Audits and Training are other steps that should be taken to prevent a slip, trip,or fall accident. Walkway audits identify and keep a written record of the potential slip and fall hazards at a workplace. Informational trainingcan also go a long way to save employees against STF contingencies. Workers need education about when and where to place a Floor Safety Sign as well as the time duration between a spillage and its subsequent cleaning. Discussing how to report a slip, trip, or fall event is a highly effective method to curbing STF dangers.

The responsibility of saving workers from slips, trips and falls does not solely fall on an employer. Workers too, should takeinitiatives to prevent STF hazards from happening to themselves and any colleagues.
Here are some tips employees can follow to avoidSTF situations:
  • An employee should wear shoes suitable to the kind of operation (s)he performs. This includes wearing slip-safe or non-slip shoes.
  • Avoid wearing high heels or canvas shoes as they tend to slip more.
  • Non-Slip overshoe covers should be used for wet processes.
  • Spills if any should be wiped up immediately or reported to the respective authorities.
  • Walkways should be kept free of clutter.
  • Employees should see to it that floors are clean and dry at all times.