Stay On Your Toes – Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls for National Safety Month 2013
May is National Safety Month, and this week’s theme provided by the National Safety Council (NSC) is Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls. I know that we have all felt that moment, a split second in time, right when inattention meets instability, and down we go. It’s not pretty and it doesn’t feel good.
Slips, trips, and falls contribute to a huge percentage of lost work time, and OSHA and the NSC are working hard to fix that. Being around hazardous chemicals gives us a fair sense of caution, and it’s clearly important to be careful with these materials. However, lurking under our very feet are some little gremlins trying to trip us up.
Watch Your Surface and Your Step
Walking without falling is something most of us learned before we were two, but slippery surfaces, uneven floors, debris on the ground or tools left in walkways can be tricky to navigate. And then there are those ladders and scaffolds that must be checked for loose parts or broken pieces. Stairs round up the bunch with their potential for letting us down.
The trick is to keep paths clear of stuff, and this includes bags, boxes, chairs, electrical cords, and trash. Everything needs a home, so that it doesn’t stay on the floor in anyone’s way. Good housekeeping dictates that any spills should be cleaned immediately with bright signs announcing the mess. And faster is better because puddles can cause bacteria to grow and also smell weird.
Who Is Responsible for Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls?
The responsibility for a safe workplace lands on many shoulders. The building must be up to code with clear paths to the exit, adequate flooring and stairs, and ADA accessible routes. This goes a long way towards worker health.
The next onus falls to the general atmosphere or culture of safety. If everyone always puts away tools and keeps their space clear, then we are all set. Who sets the tone? This usually comes from the top down, and then everyone picks up on the safety vibe.
Finally, given a safe workplace, each one of us needs to pay attention where we are going. We must keep an eye out, double check ladders, follow safety procedures, and generally be aware of our surroundings. We can make healthy choices in our lives and address medical issues that could lead to falls. Don’t be like this person on the forklift, use equipment properly:
We Can Make the Workplace Safer for Everyone
Safety awareness is a big part of the NSC’s campaign for National Safety Month. It’s simply a gentle nudge and reminder to be careful, pay attention to working conditions and make improvements. No one is perfect, but we can be pretty powerful agents of change to create a safe workplace for ourselves.
At ChemSW, safety is part of the package. We offer inventory management software that will help keep an organized lab with real-time inventory information. We care about workplace safety, and we are all about happy, healthy people! Tune in the rest of the month for more chemical inventory tips and workplace safety tricks.