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Hidden Dangers: Avoid Workplace Slips

Many Aussie workplaces can lull you into a false sense of security. You clock in, do your hours, and head home. But what if there's a hidden danger lurking beneath your very feet? Slips and falls are surprisingly common, and they can have serious consequences. According to Safe Work Australia, falls from same-level surfaces are the number one culprit behind workplace injury claims. So, how can you avoid becoming another statistic?

The key might lie right under your work boots. Choosing the right sustainable materials for industrial flooring can significantly reduce the risk of slips and falls. For instance, some industrial floor coatings offer excellent slip resistance, even in wet or greasy environments.  This can make a world of difference in areas like kitchens, factories, and warehouses.

The underestimated threat of slips and falls

Tumbles and falls may seem like a minor annoyance but indeed they are not - the pain in the knee or the bruise in the ego. However, the fact is, they can be far worse. A trivial slip in distance could result in ankle sprains, broken bones or even head injuries. These injuries are often accompanied by lost work time, huge medical bills and chronic pain.

The most hazardous aspect of falling is their unanticipated nature. Different from a sharp object, a slippery surface is more deceptive and it can make you fall without even noticing what's happening. For that reason, the main thing is to be aware of risks and to take steps to prevent them.

Common causes of slips in the workplace

Now that we've established the threat, let's delve into the culprits. What exactly causes slips in the workplace? Here are some of the most common offenders:

  • Uneven surfaces: Chipped sidewalks, broken tiles, or slanted surfaces are among the common causes of tripping. If you spot any of these dangers at work, report it to your manager or supervisor right away.
  • Wet floors: Accidents such as spills, leaks, and even floor cleaning can result in slippery and wet floors. Be more careful in areas such as kitchens, bathrooms and around cleaning stations.
  • Poor lighting: The lights that dim or are off frequently may create an environment where it is difficult to notice floor hazards. If you work in a space that has inadequate lighting, especially in busy areas, voice it out.
  • Cluttered walkways: The boxes, cables, and other things that are left on the ground are a serious problem because you can trip over any of them. Keep walkways clear and don’t leave items in the place where people use to walk.
  • Improper footwear: The worn-out shoes with smooth bottoms do not have much adhesion. Consider footwear having high tread and avoid wearing sandals in industrial settings.

Protecting yourself and your employees from slips

Now for the good news: preventing slips and falls is achievable! Here's how both employers and employees can work together to create a safer work environment:

For employers:

  • Implementing a safety program: This is where the use of proactive programs comes into place. Routinely scan your workplace around for potential hazards like slippery zones, spillage and bad lighting.

    • Proper cleaning and maintenance procedures: Establish a clear protocol for floor cleaning and make sure the spillage is done with no delays. Think about having slip-resistant mats in dangerous areas, like a kitchen or entrance areas. For long-term slip resistance and floor safety, consider consulting with professional floor maintenance companies.
    • Use of slip-resistant mats and signage: Install slip-resistant, colourful doormats under entrances and exits, especially during times of rain. Put up signs around the slippery areas that will remind employees to be very careful.

  • Promoting a culture of safety: It's not enough to just have safety procedures in place; it's also important to demonstrate a cultural commitment to safety in the workplace.

    • Employee training on slip and fall prevention: Educate your employees on the risks of slips, trips, and falls, and train them on how to detect and remove hazards.
    • Encouraging safe work practices: Emphasize employees' responsibility to report unsafe conditions, put on correct footwear, and be careful while walking, especially in areas with accident risks.

For employees:

  • Staying alert and aware: Please keep your attention away from your gadgets! Give a proper appraisal of your environment and be primarily concerned about possible slip trips and fall hazards on the floor.
  • Walking carefully: Slow down when on a wet or cluttered surface and avoid keeping too much stuff to hold at a time. Get prepared and be satisfied at your pace.
  • Reporting unsafe conditions: If you are the first person to notice an oil leak, damaged bamboo flooring, or anything similar that can potentially become a danger, let your boss know about it right away.

What to do after a slip and fall accident

Nevertheless, with the most scrupulous safety precautions, there are still possible emergencies. undefined

  • Seek immediate medical attention: In case of emergency, always head to an emergency room as soon as you can. Don't try to be tough – while an injury may look like something minor depending on it could be more serious than you know.
  • Reporting the incident: Inform your supervisor right after that the situation has happened. The reason for the accident will be traced by them and they may take some measures to avoid the future occurrence of the same.
  • Documenting the details of the accident: Check to find out whether or not you can document those details of the accident: date, time, location, and cause. Snapping photos of the accident site would not be a disadvantage. This will be very useful if you need to approach any worker compensation claims boards.

Conclusion: Prioritising workplace safety

Tripping and falling are just a part of our everyday lives, but they can lead to severe implications. Working jointly, employers and staff can establish a safer environment and avoid these injuries happening at work. Keep this in mind: a few small steps can make all the difference, say keeping walkways clear, cleaning up spills as soon as you see them, and always wearing proper footwear.

Consequently, next time when you go to work, try to be aware of your surroundings. Look out for any potential hazards, and don't hesitate to voice your concerns if you see anything dangerous. With safety as our priority, we can make workplaces free from hidden dangers and see everyone at home safe and healthy.


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