Employee and customer slips and falls are a large liability for any company. Train employees to practice slip and fall safety using good housekeeping and prevention techniques.
It is important that workers are trained to spot unsafe conditions that could lead to slips and falls, and do everything possible prevent them.
Workers or customers can suffer falls for various reasons – they could slip and lose balance, trip over objects left improperly in a walkway or simply fall from an elevated position to the ground. To avoid slips and falls, all staff members should be on the lookout for foreign substances on the floor. Watch for:
- Deposits of water
- Food or beverage
- Grease or oil
- Product spills
Even small quantities can be enough to cause a fall.
Good Housekeeping Counts
When entering a building from the outdoors or from debris or storage areas, workers should clean footwear thoroughly. In snowy and rainy weather, workers should put doormats near store entrances and mop up extra water that accumulates. Patrons, especially children, should be asked to walk instead of run.
It's also important that employees constantly monitor the store for tripping hazards. Trash, unused materials or any object left in aisles designed for pedestrian traffic invites falls. Extension cords, tools, carts, extra stock and other items should be removed or properly barricaded off. If equipment, supplies or products are left in walkways, employees should report it and let the proper personnel remove it. Proper placement of trash and recycling bins can help reduce debris. Employees should ensure that bins are emptied regularly.
Employees should only walk in designated walking areas and maintain a store layout that keeps patrons in areas where they will be safe. Short cuts through machine, storage or back stock areas invite accidents.
Employees and patrons should be encouraged to hold on to handrails when using stairs or ramps. If an employee or patron is carrying a heavy load that hampers the ability to properly ascend or descend stairs, he or she should be directed toward the nearest elevator.
The worst falls are from elevated positions, such as ladders, and can result in serious injury or death. It's crucial that ladders that are not in use are stored safely away from customers. If a ladder must be left in the retail store, it should be locked to prevent customers from climbing it.
Slips and falls occur every day. The extent of injuries and their recurrence can be minimized through proper safety knowledge, good housekeeping and prevention.
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