With over 13,000 Queensland workers injuring themselves every year in the workplace by tripping, falling and slipping, it is important to minimise this risk at your work site.
The biggest factor leading to these injuries is a loss of grip between the floor and a person's foot. This usually occurs when there is something in the way, causing a loss of balance, or a contaminant on the floor.
Here are some tips to help you and your team stay safe around the office.
Sometimes, the trip hazards that pose the greatest problems will be immediately obvious. In this case they need to be removed or minimised.
The first step is to identify the hazards - this could be achieved by walking around the site, or even talking to other workers and supervisors. If there have been incidents in the past, there may be records indicating where they were and what was responsible.
Hazards may include uneven flooring, cluttered walkways or low obstacles.
Other examples may be harder to spot, including trailing cables, loose mats, carpet tiles or unexpected changes to the floor surface level.
You can reduce this risk by ensuring all items of equipment, whether it be cables from your generator hire or extra traffic signs, are picked up and tidied away after use.
It is also essential to ensure the floor surface you are working on is free from uneven terrain, holes and curled up carpet edges or lino.
Checking for contaminants
Some things that can also pose hazards in the worksite are contaminants. This could be liquids that end up on the floor or dry items such as dust, plastic bags, metal shavings or off-cuts.
It is best to clean regularly, and if there is a risk of slipping, you may want to consider putting up signage to warn other workers of the issue.
However, once something has been spilt on the floor, it is essential to clean it up as soon as possible so floors do not become too slippery.
Other environmental factors may result in trips and falls, including poor lighting and other distractions around the worksite.
This could be unexpected loud noises or extreme temperatures that prevent people from being able to notice hazards in their path.
It is important to provide adequate light levels without glare so that hazards are visible and people can avoid them as a result.
Other noises and heat extremes should be minimised, and extra care taken in these circumstances.