Every single year slip, trip, and fall injuries are some of the most common and costly injuries that occur in the workplace. Many people probably assume that falls from heights cost companies more every year than falls on the same level, but this is not the case. According to the 2016 Liberty Mutual’s Workplace Safety Index, falls from heights were the third highest cause of disabling injuries at a cost to employers of $5.4 billion. Falls on the same level came in higher at number two with a cost of $10.1 billon.
Causes of Falls on the Same Level
Falls on the same level are defined as a slip, trip, or fall in which the worker either impacts an object or the floor at the same level at which they are standing. Often times, slip and trip hazards are the cause for these types of incidents. The exact hazards that cause these incidents can vary greatly though depending on the workplace. Here are some common causes:
- Oily or wet walking surfaces
- Ice/ snow in colder climates
- Uneven terrain
- Cracks or chips in a walking surface
- Changes in elevation
- Objects on floor
- Improper or damaged footwear
Best Practices to Prevent these Incidents
- Practice good housekeeping and organization of work areas. Many of these hazards, especially trip hazards, can be eliminated solely through keeping a tidy work area.
- Do not be distracted when walking through work areas. Looking at your phone or something else can cause you to miss hazards that can lead to a slip or trip.
- Ensure that you have proper footwear for your work and that it is in good condition.
- Clean footwear of any mud, snow, ice, or moisture when possible when coming from outside to inside.
- Ensure there is proper lighting in work areas and that any changes in elevation are brightly marked.
Slips, trips, and falls are responsible for a countless amount of injuries in the workplace every single year. Take time every day to evaluate your work area for hazards that can cause these injuries. It is important to eliminate as many as the hazards that cause these incidents as possible in your workplace. Discussion point: What are some other causes for falls from the same level in our workplace?