Safety Corner: Slips, Trips and Falls

By Paul Errico, AffinEco Corporate Director of EHS Services

Slips, trips and falls (STFs) continue to be among the leading causes of workplace injuries. They are debilitating, expensive and—most important—largely preventable. Workplace STF dangers include, slippery walking and working surfaces, leaks, debris left in walkways, uneven floors, protruding nails, bunched floor mats, and uneven step risers. OSHA says STF injuries account for the majority of general industry accidents, causing such injuries as back sprains and strains, contusions and fractures, and they result in 15 percent of all accidental workplace deaths.

Not taking action against workplace STFs is simply not an option. Consider the risks:
• Annually, some 21,000 Americans die as a result of STFs. That’s more than from electrocution, drowning and firearms incidents combined.
• STFs carry an astronomical price tag of between $60 billion and $80 billion each year. That includes litigation, insurance and workers’ comp claims, medical costs, and other indirect costs.
• STFs are the leading cause of Emergency Room (ER) visits, with more than 2 million Americans entering the ER each year as a result.
• Every hour, STFs are responsible for one death and 183 ER visits.

To ensure AffinEco is doing all it can to help prevent STFs at client workplaces, we take these and other steps:
• When there are wet floors, place proper, highly visible signage in the area
• Clean up spills immediately
• Use smart housekeeping strategies, such as cleaning one side of a walkway at a time
• Keep aisles and passageways clear at all times
• Reinstall or stretch carpets that bulge or have become bunched

Client safety is of the utmost importance to AffinEco, and our staff are vigilant about it, doing our part to keep your people out of harm’s way.