Technical Resource Guide SLIP, TRIP AND FALL --- Alabama Self-Insured Worker's Compensation Fund SAFETY MANAGEMENT CONTROL PLAN.

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1 Alabama Self-Insured Worker's Compensation Fund Technical Resource Guide SLIP, TRIP AND FALL --- SAFETY MANAGEMENT CONTROL PLAN Prepared by Employer's Claim Management, Inc.

2 TECHNICAL RESOURCE GUIDE -- Slip, Trip and Fall Safety Management Control Plan -- Slip, trip and falls are one of the major loss problems for workers compensation claims in the United States. Falls from the same level are consistently one of the top three workers compensation claims. They represent the highest, or the second highest accident type for many industries. These claims impact the profits of restaurants, hospitality, manufacturing, health care, construction and trucking companies. The average person takes 18,000 steps every day, which presents many chances for a slip, trip and fall. Slips occur from a loss of balance caused by too little friction between the feet and the walking or working surface. Trips occur from a loss of balance caused by interference between the forward motion and some object. A lack of understanding of why slip, trip and falls occur in the workplace has an impact on the significant dollar cost. Managers and supervisors need to understand the reasons for their employee falls in order to prevent them through the development of a safety process to target those causes. Slip, trip and falls involve the three laws of science of friction, momentum and gravity. Friction helps prevent slips. Momentum contributes to trips. Gravity plays a part in falls. Friction is the resistance between things, such as between your shoes and the surface you walk or stand. Friction provides enough resistance between your shoes and the walking surface to keep you upright on your center of balance, and allow you to move safely forward. Momentum is affected by speed and size. The more momentum you have as you move forward, the harder you fall if you should slip or trip. There is less likelihood of losing your balance after a slip or trip with less momentum. Gravity is the force that allows a large body, such as the Earth to pull smaller bodies, such as a person toward the ground. Without gravity, people would never fall. A significant component of a walking/working surface that contributes to a slip and fall is the coefficient of friction (COF) of the surface material. Coefficient of friction is used as a measure of slipperiness. It is generally accepted that a static coefficient of friction of 0.50 or above is relatively safe on a dry surface. A COF reading below 0.50 indicates an unsafe surface in terms of friction. The coefficient of friction of a surface may change as a result of surface damage. This surface damage may be the result of cleaning and maintenance techniques, a lack of cleaning and maintenance, or from exposure to environmental conditions. Also, the

3 introduction of foreign material on the surface will change its coefficient of friction and can act as a lubricant on some surfaces. The ANSI Standard for the Provision of Slip Resistance on Walking/Working Surfaces states that the most common precipitating event leading to a slip is the unexpected loss of traction between a shoe bottom and floor material. Slips normally happen when you least expect it. There are many contributing factors of slip and falls that management should address to control employee falls. There are three that can be generally controlled by management, which are floor surface characteristics, environmental factors, and footwear traction properties. There is no one simple answer to controlling the exposure to slip, trip and falls. Management should implement a safety management control plan with multiple solutions. The following are action steps for this plan: Establish management commitment to the reduction of slip and fall hazards Management commitment is the foundation of any safety plan. It will promote a safety culture to control employee falls. This commitment can be communicated to employees through a policy statement or written procedures. Develop safety responsibilities to address the slip and fall improvement objectives Specific safety responsibilities must be communicated to all affected employees, such as managers, supervisors, safety representatives, and maintenance employees. They must understand their role in the process of controlling slip, trip and falls. Review loss history to identify trends to employee falls A loss analysis of previous workers compensation claims, as well as any reported near misses, can identify contributing factors to address first. This loss analysis can pinpoint common factors, such as tasks, day, time, weather, location, department, type of floor, or type of employee. A useful tool is a diagram of the facility to mark the location of falls to illustrate the problem areas. Perform consistent employee training and enforce use of proper control measures Employee training should begin with the new employee safety orientation, and information on preventing slip, trip and falls should be presented to the new employee. Continuous safety training on preventing falls should be provided to employees through regular safety meetings. Foster hazard ownership through awareness and accountability Safety training through new employee orientations, regular safety meetings, and one-onone safety talks provide management the opportunity to foster hazard ownership.

4 Management should encourage a see it, fix it culture with employees. Employees should be held accountable by management monitoring employee performance and conducting positive enforcement of slip, trip and fall safety rules. Define acceptable slip resistant footwear for employees Slip resistant footwear is a good control measure to maximize traction, particularly for wet and greasy floors. Tread design and tread material are two major components to consider when selecting a brand of slip resistant shoe. There are guidelines from the Shoe and Allied Trade Research Association (SATRA), as well as American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) for selection of these shoes. Management should consider a mandatory slip resistant shoe program to ensure full compliance with this control measure. Several slip resistant shoe companies provide payroll deduction plans to spread the payment of the shoes for employees. Some employers reimburse employees for the purchase of the shoes. Management must monitor employees to ensure they purchase the shoes and replace worn shoes. Establish minimum design performance standards for walking surfaces The coefficient of friction of the walking surface should be at least 0.5 under dry conditions to be considered an acceptable walking surface. This is a slip resistance guideline when choosing a floor surface for any new or replacement floor. The slip resistance of floor surfaces can be measured by using a device called a slip meter. The American National Standard Institute (ANSI) standard, ANSI/ASSE A Standard for the Provision of Slip Resistance on Walking/Working Surfaces describes slip-resistance testing of floors using four approved slip meters. These slip meters are the Horizontal Pull Slipmeter (HPS) developed by the Liberty Mutual Research Center, the Brungraber Mark II Portable Inclinable Articulated Slip Tester (PIAST) and Brungraber Mark I Portable Articulated Slip Tester (PAST) developed by Dr. Robert Brungraber, and the Variable Incidence Tribometer (VIT) developed by William English. All of these slip meters can be used for field testing under dry conditions. The PIAST and VIT can be used for testing wet conditions. Consider opportunities to improve the slip resistance of existing walking surfaces It may not be practical to replace an existing floor with a floor of higher coefficient of friction but other applications are available. Surface applications or treatments can improve the slip resistance of the floor, such as etching, scoring, grooving, brushing, or coatings. A professional should be used to evaluate the flooring and work environment to determine the appropriate application with consideration of cleanliness and durability. The floor treatment should be monitored as the treatment may deteriorate over time. Floor mats are another method for improving slip resistance in areas known for slippery contaminants and foreign substances. These areas include sinks, ice machines, food

5 preparation areas, water stations, dishwashers, and machinery process areas. Also, mats should be used at building entrances to remove moisture and foreign substance from footwear. Mats should be secured from movement and not create a tripping hazard. Develop standard floor cleaning procedures Written floor cleaning procedures with employee training is essential to ensure the floor surfaces are cleaned and maintained properly. The housekeeping program should provide information to employees on materials, equipment, scheduling, and training. Employees with floor cleaning responsibilities should receive training on inspecting, cleaning and maintaining the floors. This training includes the proper steps of routine cleaning, immediate response and remedial measures. Other topics for training are safe handling of chemicals, safe use of equipment, emergency conditions, and recordkeeping requirements. The vendor of the cleaning chemicals is a good resource for employee training. Another component of the floor cleaning procedures is the use of warning signs. Slip and fall warning signs should be available and used to warn others of a slip and fall hazard. Warning signs should be positioned at principal approaches to the areas of the slip and fall hazard. Some incidents may require a barricade and/or employee monitoring when a hazard covers a large area. Audit compliance with floor cleaning procedures Management should be responsible to monitor employee compliance of the prescribed floor cleaning procedures. This can be accomplished through scheduled, formal audits and/or through periodic informal audits. Corrective action should be taken toward employees not following the prescribed floor cleaning procedures to promote accountability among employees. Inspect floor surfaces on a regular basis Management or other designated employees should be responsible for conducting regular inspections of walking surfaces to detect any slip, trip and fall hazards, as well as ensure appropriate corrective action is taken toward those hazards. The frequency of inspections should depend on type of operations and level of exposure to employees. A report should be completed to document identified hazards and corrective action. Conduct accident investigations to identify contributing risk factors of employee falls Accident investigation by management will determine the causes of the employee fall and suggest corrective measures to prevent reoccurrence of that type of accident. The documented accident investigation should focus on contributing factors of the fall. Normally, there are multiple causes to the accident. Management should conduct a

6 follow-up to ensure corrective measures were implemented and were effective in preventing a reoccurrence. Measure the effectiveness of the slip, trip and fall control plan Management should establish a baseline of slip, trip and fall claims based on previous loss experience. This baseline will be used to measure the improvement of slip, trip and fall claims history from the implementation of the slip, trip and fall control plan. An action planer is used to document the analysis and the physical and/or administrative changes, as well as ensure completion of corrective measures. An action planer is provided to use as a tool to state the slip, trip and fall loss problem. There is a section for recording current loss frequency and/or loss severity percentage, as well as goal for each. Management may choose either frequency, severity or both to address based on past history. The action planer provides for the physical changes and/or administrative changes to control the slip, trip and fall problem. Here are some examples of possible controls: Physical Changes Repair deficiencies in floor surfaces Replace slick floor material with surfaces of higher coefficient of friction Use floor treatments or coatings that reduce slipperiness Install grab bars and rails where appropriate Use color contrasts to make steps or other level changes more visible Make sure all floor surfaces are adequately lighted at night Administrative Changes Ensure supervisors and staff are aware of their responsibilities for fall prevention Monitor employee performance of floor cleaning procedures Establish slip resistant footwear program for employees Cover fall prevention topics often during employee training Include fall prevention items on routine inspections Ensure corrective action follow-up by management There are many contributing factors to employee slip, trip and falls. There are human factors, such as age and physical conditions. Also, there are other human factors, such as horseplay and inattention. Those that management is able to control generally relate to floor surfaces, environmental factors, and employee footwear. A comprehensive plan will assist in managing the controllable exposures to employee slip, trip and falls. Source: American National Standard Institute (ANSI) standard, ANSI/ASSE A Standard for the Provision of Slip Resistance on Walking/Working Surfaces

7 Describe slip, trip and fall problem SLIP, TRIP AND FALL ACTION PLANER Current Slip, Trip & Fall Loss Frequency (%) Committed Slip, Trip & Fall Frequency Goal (%) Current Slip, Trip & Fall Loss Severity (%) Committed Slip, Trip & Fall Severity Goal (%) Describe improvements of physical and administrative changes to achieve reduction goal: List Physical Changes Person Responsible Target Date Completion Date List Administrative Changes Person Responsible Target Date Completion Date Completed By Reviewed By Date Date

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