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Safety Edition – November 2023

A Cemstone Companies Safety Edition

SLIPS, TRIPS AND FALLS

Slips, trips, and falls cause 700 fatalities per year and many more injurious accidents in the workplace according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are three physical factors involved in slips, trips, and falls: friction, momentum, and gravity. Each one plays a role. Friction is the resistance between objects, momentum is affected by the speed and mass of an object, and gravity is the force exerted on an object by the Earth. Close to 90,000 professional truck drivers lose at least one day of work each year due to an on-the-job injury or illness, and falls are the leading cause of those injuries. If your work finds you in or on top of a motor vehicle or its cargo, you’re at risk of adding to those statistics. With OSHA considering fall protection regulations for truck drivers, it’s a good time to review your safety practices and make sure you don’t “fall” victim to a workplace accident!


What is the difference?

SLIPS

  • Slips are a loss of balance caused by too little friction between your feet and the surface you walk or work on. Loss of traction is the leading cause of workplace slips. 
  • Slips can be caused by wet surfaces, spills, or weather hazards like ice or snow. Slips are more likely to occur when you hurry or run, wear the wrong kind of shoes, or don’t pay attention to where you’re walking.

Trips

  • Trips occur whenever your foot hits an object and you are moving with enough momentum to be thrown off TRIPS balance. Trips are more likely to happen when you are in a hurry and don’t pay attention to where you’re going

Falls

  • Falls occur whenever you move too far off your center of FALLS balance. Falls account for more workplace fatalities than any other reason.
What can you do?

Solid Contact is Key

Friction, momentum, and gravity are three elements at work when someone falls. Keeping friction high and staying alert can help you fight the effects of momentum and gravity.

Use the “three point” rule. Always have three points of contact with the vehicle when entering, climbing up or down, or working off the ground. If you’re going to move your foot, for example, make sure both hands are holding on. If you are moving your hand, make sure both feet are solidly planted.

When walking on a trailer or catwalk, always be mindful of the edge. “Look before you leap” and make sure there’s a foothold before you take a step.

  • Never jump from a vehicle or deck.
  • Wear gloves and slip-resistant shoes.

Stay Alert 

Watch out for protruding objects, spills and other hazards that could contribute to a fall. Look where you are going:

  • Uneven surfaces-job sites, potholes
  • Wet surfaces-truck ladders, wash racks

Icy Surfaces

  • Move at a safe pace
  • Don’t be in a hurry when climbing or  working on slick or icy surfaces.

On Snow and Ice

  • Take short steps
  • Pick feet straight up and down with toes pointed slightly outward-Not heel to toe

Wear your studded overshoes during snow and ice season


PROTECT YOUR CONCRETE WITH CHERRY STONE® TRACTION GRIT!

Cherry Stone® Traction Grit is a concrete safe ice melt alternative for slip prevention. Traction grit is perfect for sidewalks, driveways, stairs, decks and walkways. This insoluble material will not hasten the deterioration of concrete surfaces or harm plants or grass. Traction grit is animal safe and will not dissolve, become muddy, stain or pollute areas applied to. This sustainable alternative to salt and deicing chemicals comes in a 25 pound bag.

additional tips to stay safe
  • If you see something you might slip or trip on, tell your supervisor right away.
  • Clean up spills and anything slippery. Check with your supervisor about how to use cleaning products. Don’t use cleaners that could make the floor slippery.
  • Clear walkways, stairs, and lobbies of anything that might be a tripping hazard, such as cords, wires, empty boxes, and clutter.
  • Make sure that floor mats lay flat rather than wrinkled or bunched.
  • Use handrails when you walk up and down steps.
  • Before using any ladder or stepladder, make sure it opens fully.
  • Check that ladder extensions are fully locked and that the ladder legs are stable on a flat, non-slippery surface.
  • Clean off any slippery material on the rungs, steps, or feet of a ladder before you use it.
  • Don’t go over the load limit noted on the ladder.

Source: CDC.GOV & OSHA.GOV