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Electrical Safety

Avoiding Slips & Falls

Chapter 7
Avoiding Slips and Falls

According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), slips, trips, and falls constitute the majority of general worker accidents. They cause 15% of all accidental deaths, and are second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities. Like those businesses offering sunless spray services, the OSHA standards for walking and working surfaces apply to all permanent places of employment.


Workplace Housekeeping
Some of the most frequently overlooked general requirements involve general housekeeping:

  • All places of employment, passageways, storerooms, and service areas shall be kept clean and orderly and in a sanitary condition.
  • The floor of every workroom shall be maintained in a clean and, so far as possible, a dry condition. Where wet processes are used, drainage shall be maintained and gratings, mats, or raised platforms shall be provided.
Aisles and Passageways

Aisles and passageways shall be kept clear and in good repair with no obstruction across or in aisles that could create a hazard.
Permanent aisles and passageways shall be appropriately marked. Where mechanical handling equipment is used, aisles shall be sufficiently wide. Improper aisle widths coupled with poor housekeeping and vehicle traffic can cause injury to employees, damage the equipment and material, and can limit a way out in emergencies.

Most experts agree that at the most basic level, a slip occurs because of inadequate slip resistance between the shoe and the floor. Slips are generally caused by the interaction of any or all of three factors:

  • Footwear,
  • Flooring, and
  • Contaminants (substances that may come between the floor and the shoe like sunless solutions).
Steps To Prevention
The consensus among slip experts is that successful prevention programs address all the controllable factors. Most experts agree that flooring more than footwear and contaminants should be primarily considered. Short of replacing the entire walking surface, there are cost-effective options for increasing a floor's slip resistance:
  • Paint floors in high-risk work areas with abrasive material;
  • Etch the surface with acids, such as hydrofluoric acid; or
  • Place slip-resistant mats in the most slip-prone areas.

The floor treatment that is most appropriate for a particular work environment will depend on the nature of the floor and the hazards that are present… this means a formal, written program that specifies the proper cleaners for each contaminant, the use of barricades and warnings, and the training of employees on the proper procedure for floor cleaning.

Typically, when cleaning the floor in the area of sunless spray application, you need to do more than mop. That just spreads the sunless solution around. You need to agitate and actually remove the solution with cleaners designed to thoroughly remove anything that may be on the floors surface.

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