Slips, Trips and Falls

Occupational Health and Safety

How To Avoid Slips Trips and Falls

Slips Trips and Falls are the #1 cause of accidents at St. Lawrence University. These types of accidents occur indoors and outdoors. These accidents are preventable with proper training, hazard recognition and safe work practices.

(The Following Safety Tips are from the Wayne State University EHS Web Site)

*How to Prevent Slips, Trips and Falls

  • Wear the proper foot gear. Employees may order slip-resistant shoes at a greatly reduced cost from Shoes for Crews. The first pair is Free for full-time employees! Contact Ruta Ozols at 5908 for more information.
  • Report slip, trip and fall hazards to Facilities x5401 or Security and Safety x5555.
  • Take small steps to keep your center of balance under you.

  • Walk slowly and never run on icy ground.

  • Keep both hands free for balance, rather than in your pockets.

  • Use handrails from start to finish.

  • Avoid carrying loads on stairways; or carry loads that you can see over.

  • Keep your eyes on where you are going.

  • Test potentially slick areas by tapping your foot on them.

  • Step - Don't jump from vehicles and equipment.

  • Keep walkways clear of debris, water, ice and slippery materials.

When these helpful hints don't work, and you know you are going to slip, try to reduce your potential injury when falling by:

  • Roll with the fall.  Try to twist and roll backwards, rather than falling forward.

  • Relax as much as possible when you begin to fall.

  • Toss the load you are carrying.  Protect yourself instead of the objects being carried.

 

Safe Winter Walking

Walking to and from parking lots and between buildings during the winter requires special attention to avoid slipping and falling. We often forget how dangerous slipping and falling can be. The National Safety Council estimates that occupational falls cause more than 1500 deaths per year, along with approximately 300,000 injuries.

No matter how well the snow and ice is removed from streets and sidewalks, employees will encounter some slippery surfaces when walking outdoors in the winter. Each year numerous employees are injured from slips and falls. It is important to be continually aware of the dangers and to walk safely on ice and slippery surfaces.

  1. Plan ahead; give yourself sufficient time and plan your route.

  2. Wear shoes or boots that provide traction on snow and ice: rubber and neoprene composite. Avoid plastic and leather soles.

  3. Use special care when entering and exiting vehicles; use the vehicle for support.

  4. Walk in designated walkways as much as possible. Taking shortcuts over snow piles and areas where snow and ice removal is not feasible can be hazardous. Look ahead when you walk; a sidewalk completely covered with ice may require travel along its grassy edge for traction.

  5. When given no choice but to walk on ice, consider the following:

  • Take short steps or shuffle for stability.

  • Bend slightly, walk flat-footed with your center of gravity directly over the feet as much as possible.

  • Be prepared to fall.

  • If you fall, fall with sequential contacts at your thigh, hip, and shoulder to avoid using your arms to protect against breakage.

  • Bend your back and head forward so you won't slam your head on the pavement as your feet shoot out from under you.

Finally, when entering buildings, remove snow and water from footwear to prevent creating wet slippery conditions indoors.

Report slip, trip and fall hazards to Facilities x5401 or Security and Safety x5555.