Posted in: Safety Talks

Slips and trips continue to cause us problems. Many of the incidents involving slips and trips result in broken bones, contusions, pulled muscles, strains, and as often as not, embarrassment.

Have you ever slipped and thought that you just made a fool of yourself and then quickly looked around to see if anyone else saw you?  You know, bipedal motion is inherently unstable. Stop and think about how much more stable are creatures with four legs. Each step by us humans has a moment of instability built in when only one appendage is touching a walking surface. What that means is that we are vulnerable to the slightest complication or obstacle. Every step could lead to a slip, trip, and fall. Now add climbing, adverse weather conditions, or poor housekeeping to the mixture.

Did you know that during normal walking the average person only raises their foot about 3/8 inch to 1/2 inch above the walking surface? If you are in a hurry you may raise that foot as much as 5/8 inch. (This does not include full bore running, since we don’t do that at work, except maybe at quitting time). How many things can you think of that could potentially present a tripping hazard when we only lift our feet less than half an potential for oil or grease or even water to be on the walking surfaces. All three of these liquids are used to reduce friction, and they work very well for that. The same characteristics of these liquids that make sliding parts move past each other with less effort will work to make the sole of your shoe slide on walking surfaces more easily. Mud or slurry or ice will do the same thing.

Preventive measures . . .

However menial housekeeping may seem to you, it is the single most important preventive measure that we must take to minimize the potential for slips, trips and falls. The housekeeping that I am talking about goes beyond using a broom and mop in working and break areas. Also included would be taking the time to clean up and dispose of spilled oil products, consciously not tracking mud into areas where other people will be traveling, and above all, taking an active role in the prevention of potential injury

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