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Slips, trips and falls: on the same level

Slips, trips and falls are a leading cause of injuries at construction workplaces. The most common ones are musculoskeletal injuries (sprains and strains), cuts, bruises, fractures and dislocations but more serious injuries can also occur.

Slips occur when your foot loses traction with the ground surface due to wearing inappropriate footwear or when walking on slippery floor surfaces such as those that are highly polished, wet or greasy. 

Trips occur when you unexpectedly catch your foot on an object or surface. In most cases people trip on low obstacles that are not easily noticed such as uneven edges in flooring, loose materials because of poor housekeeping, untidy tools or cables from electrical equipment. 

Falls can result from a slip or trip but many also occur during falls from low heights such as steps, stairs and curbs, falling into a hole or a ditch or into a body of water.

How to protect yourself and others:

  • Check the floor or ground surfaces regularly to detect early signs of damage or any introduced risks i.e. electrical leads and cables, saw dust, sand and grit
  • Clean up any spills, waste materials, or debris as soon as possible to eliminate the hazard for yourself and others
  • To reduce the risk of falls, use appropriate plant such as ladders and accessible step stools to reach heights safely instead of unstable objects, 
  • Only work and move around the site in well-lit areas
  • Don’t run or rush on site – walk deliberately and be mindful of your surroundings
  • Keep up good housekeeping practices in and around work areas to keep waste and other contaminants out of work areas and walkways
  • Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) including slip resistant and sturdy footwear 
  • Take notice of any signage in place to indicate problem or hazardous areas

To help keep your worksite safe, contact HIA's Safety Services team.

Enquire now

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