HOW TO PREVENT MANY SLIPS AND FALLS
What’s the best way to prevent slips and falls? Based on the number of injuries in the workplace due to slippery floor conditions, there is no simple answer. A slip and fall occurs whenever there is too little friction or traction between your feet and the surface you are walking on.
While the major cause of slip and falls is surface contamination that reduces the contact between the feet and the floor surface, there are several other factors that also contribute to slip falls like the environment, footwear, floor material, use of surface, behaviour. Some of the contaminants can be water, oil, dust and anything that reduces the traction and make the floor surface slippery.
No single solution, any one solution – be it slip-resistant shoes, micro etching, mats, proper cleaning practices or worker awareness – will not eliminate the hazard. OH&S professionals who want to implement, upgrade or review their slip-prevention programs need to ensure that they consider all aspects of what causes a slip and what can be done to reduce or eliminate one of the workplace’s most common hazards.
Malcolm C. Robbins, a forensic engineer in San Diego who studies slip-and-fall accidents, said that unless someone can design a 100 percent slip-resistant environment and plan for the worst condition possible, the hazard cannot be eliminated. “If you say something is 90 percent effective that still leaves 10 percent for an accident.”
RISK ASSESSMENT AND CONTROL
Evaluation of Risk using Qualitative Risk Assessment
• Evaluate risk in terms of likelihood and consequences
• Review available information
• Identify treatments to control risk
Document records to ensure risks are controlled.
We can predict the use of the surface, type of footwear will be used on the surface and behaviour of people and equipment being used the floor surface. We can develop environmental, floor surface material and contamination controls as well as guidance on suitable footwear and educate behaviour.
• Environment: Adequate lighting, covering exposed areas, slopes or gradients, etc.
• Contamination: Develop and implement contaminated floor prevention policies, creating and maintaining a floor safety / slip resistance register.
• Floor Surface Materials: employing non-slip surfaces and / or applying remedial non slip treatments to reduce / eliminate the likelihood of slip falls.
• Consider some other aspects like cleanability of the surface, trip hazard, product suitability and effectiveness, maintenance, esthetical appearance of any of the proposed solutions.
These slip fall prevention measures can be:
• Good housekeeping
• Mats at entry foyers
• Chemical micro etching
• Adhesive tapes
• Shot blasting
The two factors to achieving slip resistance with a shoe: the rubber compound and the tread pattern design, including the tread’s surface-to-void ratio. The rubber compound needs to be soft enough to provide slip resistance but hard enough to last and maintain its tread pattern after contact with floor surfaces and contaminants. The tread pattern design should have a grid pattern that channels water, grease and other residues away from the bottom of the shoe.
Behaviour: Create employee awareness by encouraging and rewarding those who practice safe working habits and maintain a clean work environment. Workers can reduce the risk of slipping by:
• Taking their time and paying attention to where they are going.
• Adjusting their stride to a pace that is suitable for the walking surface and tasks being performed.
• Walking with feet pointed slightly outward.
• Making wide turns at corners and ensuring that items being carried or pushed do not prevent them from seeing spills.
• Include employees in all phases of a slip-prevention program. They’re going to know best about the work areas, hazards and solutions.
For further information regarding the development of the Floor Safety/Slip Resistance challenge you may have, click on CONTACT US page and provide us with your details and specific concerns and our nearest Safety representative will contact you.
BENEFITS OF ANTI-SLIP / NON-SLIP THROUGH QUEBEC SLIP SOLUTIONS
• Assist managers, owners, and employers with compliance with relevant Workers Compensation /OH&S and other floor safety regulations, standards and acts.
• An Anti-Slip/non slip floor surface will ensure that all of your staff, visitors and clients will have a safe and happy environment, increases productivity.
• For commercial clients it is not only guaranteed for up to 3 years but during that period of time you also will have our floor safety risk management program supplied, at NO Additional Cost to You!
• For Domestic clients – your home or residential investment properties – we guarantee the Anti-Slip surface for life! (Some conditions apply)
• Minimum or no disruption to your business / home during application.
• Our Anti-Slip surface solutions are suitable for most work areas, including your office, entrances, factory floors, stairs, ferry docks, walking paths, workshops, canteens, restaurants, clubs, kitchens, bathrooms, change rooms, and car parks for interior or exterior areas as well. We can even make inside your swimming pools and the steps Anti-Slip. We have the solution not only for all of your slippery tiled surfaces, but for concrete, vinyl, wood, rubber, metallic and acrylic areas as well.
• When you are dealing with your local Floor Safety Representative, you are actually dealing with not a single person or company, but a member of the Global Safety Surfaces Network, which spans across continents and growing on a daily basis.
Legislative Requirements in Canada
So, what can I do as an employer or controller of premises (or my home) to prevent slip falls? While there are various legislative requirements for an Employer or Controller of Premises, identifying of foreseeable hazards and elimination or control of risks applies to everyone.
Bill C-45 The Law You Should Know – We present only a summary of Bill C-45
For full disclosure follow this link: http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/legisl/billc45.html
It is now a crime to neglect and ignore safety issues in the workplace.
“Employers must fully recognize their responsibility in providing a safe work environment. Failure to do so in a manner that endangers employee and public safety must be appropriately dealt with through our criminal laws.”
– Hon. Martin Cauchon, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Section 219 1. Everyone is criminally negligent who:
a. In doing anything, or b. In omitting to do anything that is his duty to do, shows wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons.
Section 217 1. Everyone who undertakes to do an act is under a legal duty to do it if an omission to do the act is or may be dangerous to life.
217.1 (introduced by Bill C-45) Everyone who undertakes, or has the authority, to direct how another person does work or performs a task is under legal duty to take reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm to that person or any other person, arising from that work or task.
Every person directing work in the workplace can be held legally liable for accidents resulting from unsafe working conditions.
In the event of an accident:
• Company decision-makers can go to jail.
• Organizations can be more heavily fined.
To protect yourself from legal liability:
• Be aware of any safety hazards in your workplace.
• Immediately take steps to solve the problem.
• If risks cannot be eliminated consultation is required with relevant stakeholders.