Preventing Trips, Slips And falls At The Workplace: The Importance of Educating Workers

Unexpected distance between your foot and the surface often results in a trip or a fall. Trips, slips and falls account for over a thousand accidents every year in Australia. Today, it is regarded as the second most common cause of workplace safety, the most common of them being fractures, cuts, bruises, dislocations etc. According to the Department of Commerce, it also accounts for 20% of all the lost time because the worker is unfit to come and work.
But are trips, slips and falls always an employer’s fault? Many find it easier to blame the detrimental work environment so that they can file for a workers’ compensation claim. However, we believe a worker is equally at fault when an injury occurs. This is where the need for proper education and training stems from. All workers must be educated about safety hazards, importance of safety wear and housekeeping standards so as to minimise the chances of injuries in general.
The Need for Educating and Training Workers:
A worker’s behaviour and workplace policies have a momentous impact on the frequency of slips, trips and falls. Many a times, a worker isn’t even aware of the contribution he/she is making to increase the likelihood of a workplace injury. Behaviours such as running to complete tasks quickly, not giving sufficient attention to the task at hand, and unsafe handling of harmful chemicals, all result from a lack of training. All of these can easily be avoided if only the behaviour is altered a little. We believe that proper education, communication and information is the key to resolve all these issues. A few examples of hazards that solely occur due to a worker being at fault involve:
1.     Leaving boxes unattended on the stairs, in walkways or in high-traffic areas
2.     Avoiding taking note of the uneven surface.
3.     Leaving behind a mess when done.

An Employer’s Role in All of This:

It is the duty of the employer to ensure that all the workers abide by the rules and standards set. It is also his/her responsibly to check that these rules are not only practiced but also preached. Employers must also encourage workers to report any unsafe workplace hazard immediately so that it can be taken note of. Furthermore, they are expected to:
1.     Set good housekeeping standards, supervise, inform and train other employees about the importance of workplace safety.
2.     Train workers on spill cleanups and efficient disposal of waste materials such as oil, harmful and toxic chemicals, grease and coolants etc.
3.     Ensure that workers are made fully aware of any naked wires or broken cables. This will not happen if proper cable management is practiced though. Companies like Trip Safe are dedicated to making workplaces safer to work in. Have all the cables covered to avoid falls and tips.  
4.     Train workers on how to prevent falling on wet, icy or uneven surfaces such as gravel or sand.

That being said, if these easy to follow rules and standards are set in all organisations across Australia, chances are that workplace injuries can significantly be minimised and as a result, employers will not have to incur the heavy costs of slips, trips and falls in the form of workers’ compensation.

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