Slips and falls account for most work-related injuries in financial institutions, and an unguarded wet floor is just one of the many possible causes. It is important to train employees to spot unsafe conditions that could lead to slips and falls and remedy these situations immediately to prevent staff and patron injury.

Employees and patrons can slip and lose their balance, trip over objects left in a walkway or simply fall from an elevated position to the ground. To avoid slips and falls, teach employees to be on the lookout for foreign substances on the floor, such as:

  • Deposits of water
  • Food or beverages
  • Mud or snow tracked in on shoes and boots
  • Soap
  • Receipts or slips of paper
  • Other debris

Even small quantities can be enough to cause a fall. If an employee spots a hazard, he or she should clean it up immediately. If the hazard is too large to remedy solo, the employees should contact the on-duty supervisor for assistance.

Good Housekeeping Counts
When entering a building from outside or from debris areas, instruct employees to clean their footwear thoroughly. Snowy and rainy weather requires a doormat at each entrance to allow for wiping of shoes. Employees should always avoid running and should instead walk safely and not change directions too quickly.

Additionally, it’s important to train employees to be on the lookout for tripping hazards. Extension cords, tools, carts and other items should be removed or properly barricaded off. Encourage employees to keep passageways clean of debris by using trash barrels and recycling bins.

Practise Prevention
As part of training, perform a quick walk through of the building with employees. Point out areas that are prone to hazards and instruct employees on how to address these hazards if they find them.

The worst falls are from elevated positions such as ladders, and can result in serious injury or death. Train employees on ladder safety. For example, when climbing, employees should use a ladder of proper length that is in good condition and keep it placed on a firm surface. Employees should never climb a ladder placed on machinery, crates, stock or boxes. Teach employees to keep the ladder’s base one-fourth metre away from the wall for every one metre of height and not to over-reach. Finally, employees should never climb a ladder with their hands full, and always transport any necessary tools in their proper carrying devices.

Slips and falls occur every day. The extent of injuries and their recurrence can be minimized through proper employee safety knowledge, good housekeeping and practising prevention.