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SLIPS, TRIPS AND FALLS

INTRODUCTION

All slips, trips and falls have the potential to become Lost Time Injuries.  In fact, a third of all major injuries are caused by this category of incident and in 1990/1, they accounted for nearly 600 major injuries in industry.  In addition to the obvious incidents that can occur on sites, incidents can also occur in other areas such as the entry / exit of road vehicles, in the compound and in service areas such as a canteen.

HAZARDS

·         Unsafe ladders, steps and scaffolds.

·         Slippery surfaces and improper footwear for the working environment.

·         Obstructions in and on floors and walkways.

·         Poor lighting.

·         Access to / from vehicles.

LEARNING POINTS

·         Inspect ladders and steps prior to working and ensure that the ladder is set on firm, level ground at the correct incline (1 in 4).  Use two hands whilst climbing, do not over reach when working from a ladder.  When a harness or fall arrestors are being worn, remember to check the condition of the equipment before use and check that people know how to use them.

·         Inspect scaffolds prior to working and ensure that the scaffold is complete, the working platforms are clear from tripping hazards and, in the case of mobile scaffolds, the castors are locked to prevent movement.

·         Avoid slips by keeping watch for hazardous working conditions - wet floors, icy areas, oil and grease for example.  Promptly clean up the spillage, do not leave it for someone else.

·         Avoid trips by maintaining a good standard of housekeeping and ensure that materials are stored and access-ways are kept clear.


·         Avoid falls by using fully guarded work platforms.  Where this is impracticable, fall arrestors and harnesses must be clipped onto a solid structure at all times whilst working at height.  In addition, cherry pickers should be used instead of "beam walking".

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