Spotlight on Workplace Safety: How to prevent slips, trips and falls


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Slips, trips and falls make up the majority of all general industry accidents in the United States. In fact, in 2020, 805 workers died in falls, and 211,640 were injured badly enough to require days off work, according to the National Safety Council’s Injury Facts. Nonfatal emergency department visits are also dominated by fall-related injuries, accounting for 33 percent of all preventable nonfatal injuries. 

Falls are almost always preventable, and adequately preparing for the task ahead helps to ensure that tasks and activities are completed safely. By deciding how a job will be done beforehand, what tasks will be involved, what safety equipment will be needed (e.g., PPE, fall protection, etc.) and in what order the steps will be completed, you can greatly reduce the risk of injury. Whether you are using a ladder or aerial lift or simply walking on campus, planning ahead will help you to get the job done safely.

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Below are links from the National Safety Council on fall prevention, including the latest statistics on falls.
7 tips for safe use of ladders  
Use scaffolding safely  
Construction safety: Prevent falls through skylights and other openings  
Reducing slips, trips and falls
Falls – Lower Level  
Falls – Same Level  

In keeping with the Safety 24/7 mindset, below are some tips to help you keep yourself and your loved ones safe around the clock.
Fall-proof your home
● Keep floors and surfaces clear of clutter
● Keep electrical and phone cords out of traffic areas
● Install handrails on stairways where necessary
● Wear sensible footwear
● Never stand on chairs, tables or any surface with wheels
● Maintain good lighting indoors and out

Remember, the University of Notre Dame is committed to the safety of everyone, and here on campus safety begins with you. So, if you see something, say something by reporting any injury or near miss. Doing so may prevent someone else from being severely hurt.

Read last week's article, Spotlight on Workplace Safety: Emergency Preparedness, here