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1 Slips, Trips & Falls

2 About Real, Real-Life Real, Real-Life is an innovative series of programs designed to motivate employees on select work-related safety issues and requirements. Emphasis on employee responsibility and the three A s awareness, attitude and action are the major themes of each program. With a fast pace and upbeat tempo, Real, Real-Life programs are designed to get and keep the attention of today s visually oriented audience. In the first part of the video, host Tim Wright introduces the major topics in an entertaining, informative way. This is followed by an interactive section which draws employees into the action by testing their knowledge of the subject matter with a series of scenarios and questions. This handbook is for educational purposes only, and is designed to be used in conjunction with a qualified trainer. Nothing herein is to be regarded as indicating approval or disapproval of any specific practice or product. Our catalog is constantly being revised and expanded, so we would appreciate any comments on current titles or suggestions for future ones. For further information on any Coastal product, or to receive a free catalog, call Coastal Training Technologies Corp. (Virginia Beach, VA) at or send a FAX to Copyright 1999 Coastal Training Technologies Corp. All rights reserved. No part of this handbook may be copied by any means or for any reason without the written permission of Coastal Training Technologies Corp. Printed in U.S.A.

3 AWARENESS ATTITUDE ACTION In real life on the job, in the office or at home awareness of your surroundings in combination with your attitude dictates your actions. When it comes to avoiding slips, trips and falls, the three A s can help you keep your feet on the ground and avoid serious injury or worse. Look around. What do you see? A wet floor? Tools and clutter? An uneven surface? Unsecured cables and cords? A wobbly ladder? An unguarded opening in the floor? You say to yourself, I see a hazard. That s awareness. Then there s your attitude. It s not my mess! That s a bad attitude. Safety first is the right attitude it takes teamwork. Now it s time to make a choice, to take action or to ignore safety and risk a slip, trip or fall. Action is where you take control, where you choose to be safe not sorry. Awareness Attitude Action 3

4 INTRODUCTION Falls account for almost 400,000 workplace injuries each year. In more than half of these, the victims slipped, tripped or fell right on the same level where they were walking. Maybe it s a slick surface. A tool left on the floor. A ladder with a broken step. Maybe you created the hazard. Maybe someone else did. It doesn t matter. Preventing slips, trips and falls takes a team effort: Watch for hazards. Keep a safety-first attitude. Take action before someone gets hurt. 4

5 SLIPS Loss of traction causes most slips. To prevent slips: Wear slip-resistant shoes or boots when wet surfaces are likely. When walking, keep your center of balance under you. Take smaller steps and make wider turns. Fix leaky equipment and use drip pans to catch ongoing leaks. Clean up spills immediately. Mark or barricade slick areas until they are cleaned up. When you take action to prevent and correct slip hazards, you help everyone keep both feet on the floor. It s the other stuff on the floor that causes a problem TRIPS Most trips happen when feet encounter something that shouldn t be on the floor. To avoid trips: Keep pathways and work areas clean. Properly store tools that aren t in use. Never use a stairwell as a storage room. Put trash in the trash bins. A clean work site is a safe one. And it all begins with a little simple housekeeping 5

6 HOUSEKEEPING Good housekeeping means you work to create an organized and safe environment. Keep walkways free from clutter, including purses and briefcases. Close file cabinets and drawers. Securely attach rugs and runners to the floor. Hold down cables and cords with rubber coverings or reroute them. Tape down and mark temporary cords and cables. A safety-first attitude and safety-minded actions are great. But don t forget to stay alert 6

7 WATCH OUT Regardless of how careful you are, you must be ready to deal with unexpected hazards. Don t carry a load that blocks your vision. Look for uneven surfaces, like when getting on and off elevators. Make sure you can see where you are going. Turn on lights before you enter an area. Replace used bulbs and repair faulty switches. If you must enter a dark area, use a flashlight and walk slowly. Stick to proven pathways and don t take shortcuts. Quicker is not always better, especially where safety is concerned. Remember, it s not the slip or trip that hurts you, it s the fall FALLS Using ladders improperly or using makeshift ladders is the number one cause of falls at work. Never use boxes, shelves or chairs to reach a height. Get a ladder or proper climbing equipment. Climbing to reach something without proper equipment is one of the most dangerous things you can do. You also must know how to use a ladder properly 7

8 LADDERS When using a ladder: Lock the legs into position. Make sure the legs are stable. Check for loose or broken rungs and rails. Make sure it is tall enough. Never use the top two steps or rungs. Place the base of an extension ladder one foot from the wall for every four feet of height. Get a coworker to hold the base or tie off the top to secure it. Before working on a ladder in a doorway, lock the door or prop it open so no one will open the door and knock you over. Ladders are the best way to reach high places, but they are not the only places for falls 8

9 HEIGHTS Scaffolds, rooftops, catwalks and building floors under construction can really put you up in the air. Anytime you work at heights greater than six feet, OSHA and good safety practice require you to use fall protection equipment, such as a fall arrest system or other form of anchorage. But falls don t just happen when you climb up. You can also fall through an opening in the floor FLOOR OPENINGS Be alert for openings in the floor, and mark or cover any openings that you create. Stay aware and take action to control fall hazards, including a very serious one 9

10 STAIRS Every year 2,500,000 people are injured walking up or down stairs. Take steps one at a time. Make sure your forward foot is firmly planted before you shift your weight. Always use the handrail. Never use stairs to store things. Keep stairways free of clutter. Stairs are there for a reason. Don t jump when you can use the stairs. It s part of being aware and watching your step. It s about making choices before you act 10

11 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE Steve and Christine are in situations where they must make choices. You need to help them with these very important decisions. SITUATION 1 Steve discovers a spill. What is the first thing he should do? a) Clean it up action. b) Call for help awareness and action. c) Mark off the spill awareness, attitude and action. a b c Answer: c. Steve should mark off the spill so no one slips on it before it is cleaned up. Awareness means Steve sees the potential hazard. Awareness and Action mean Steve gets the spill cleaned up. But the three A s Awareness, Attitude and Action mean that Steve makes choices that get the mess cleaned up and that assure the safety of everyone. 11

12 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE SITUATION 2 Christine is in the middle of a project when it s time to meet a coworker for lunch. What should she do with the materials she has spread all over the place? a) Leave the mess until she gets back. b) Straighten up the mess before she goes. c) Eat lunch in her office. a b c Answer: b or c. Christine chooses to protect her coworkers while she is gone or to forego her lunch plans. Leaving the mess would put other people at risk and show a bad safety attitude. 12

13 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE SITUATION 3 Steve needs a few tools from the storage room but the lights don t work. What should he do? a) Get a flashlight. b) Find out why the lights won t work. c) Get the lights fixed. a b c Answer: a, b and c. Safety is teamwork. Again, it s the three A s. Never leave the real problem to someone else. If you spot a problem, remove it or make sure that it is reported and repaired. 13

14 SUMMARY To avoid slips, trips and falls: Do needed housekeeping, whether it s your mess or not. Watch your step, especially on thresholds and elevators. Follow proven pathways. Use proper climbing equipment. Secure cords and cables. Mark spills and unguarded holes in the floor. In real life, you need awareness of the hazards around you. You need a safety-first attitude. And you must take every action necessary to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you. A 3 AWARENESS A TTITUDE ACTIONTM 14

15 QUIZ 1. True False Falls at work injure about 2,000 people each year. 2. True False Taking smaller steps and wider turns helps prevent falls. 3. True False If you spot a spill, the first thing you should do is clean it up. 4. True False If you see an open file cabinet, you should close it. 5. True False If you must enter a dark area, you should use a flashlight and walk slowly. 6. True False It s okay to use a chair to reach a shelf as long as you don t pile things on the chair seat to help you reach higher. 7. True False It s not safe to use the top two steps or rungs of a ladder. 8. True False Anytime you work at a height greater than six feet you must use fall protection. 9. True False You must mark or cover any opening or hole in the floor. 10. True False On stairs, be sure your forward foot is firmly planted before you shift your weight. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF TRAINING I have read and understand the training booklet, Slips, Trips and Falls: Real, Real-Life. I have also completed and passed the comprehensive quiz at the conclusion of this handbook. Employee s Signature Date Trainer s Name Date 9912 NOTE: This record may be included in the employee s personnel or training file. 15

16 CAT. NO. STFR00-HBK-ENG

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