In this article, we continue to share examples and ways to improve dangerous situations.
Housekeeping issues in this area have much to do with hazards caused when work paths are cluttered or are arbitrary. Other problems arise when floors may, due to work or accidents, may be slippery because of work byproducts (such as saw dust, particles left after drilling or spills. Another issue may be incidents where workers are using miscellaneous objects or furniture in order to reach items on higher levels. Use of such items increases the chance of falls because of breaking or loss of balance.
The best ways to approach such problems are to create designated walkways and to keep them free of obstructions. It is also important to quickly clear any particles or substances that cause a slick surface. Regarding the need of workers to elevate them in order to get items that are out of reach, proper step ladders or other climbing apparatus should be made easily available for worker use. Employees must be instructed on their proper use.
Stairs and Ramps
Wet or dry, stairs and ramps present an increased chance for trips and falls. There are several steps that can be taken to make stairs and ramps safer. They should be properly maintained to make sure that they are safe to use. Installation of solid handholds and railings are critical. It is very helpful to use any method that increases traction and visibility, such as treads, traction strips, contrast edging and slip resistant treatments.
Other issues can contribute to falls and should be properly handled, such as areas near sinks and, water fountains and water coolers. Fountains should be maintained to prevent pressure that causes water to overshoot and dampen surrounding floors. Mats should be kept on floors next to sinks to combat wet, slippery floors caused by overflows or spills. Workers should be trained to promptly report any hazardous conditions. Work procedures should require use of proper footwear, such as forbidding items such as sandals or flip-flops which are, inherently prone to cause trips and falls. When work processes call for them, require use of slip resistant and/or reinforced footwear.
A company's sidewalks and parking lots can cause problems in many conditions, especially when cold and wet. It is important to keep these areas as clear as possible as well as free of slippery conditions. Examples include pathways that are blocked by accumulated snow, icy walkways, refreezing after initial treatment, slippery ramps or curbs.
The tasks are to be sure that all snow is properly cleared, and surfaces are treated to prevent the formation of ice. Besides treating and clearing areas, it is also important to use periodic inspections to certify that conditions remain safe. If not, re-clearing and retreatment is necessary.
Wet conditions such as areas where melting or runoff water slicken paths or pools can cause dangerous falls. These are handled by making sure that walkways and lots are kept level and proper drainage exists. Downspouts should be placed correctly, eliminating chances that water affects walkways.