A slip and fall accident can happen anywhere in your operation. Depending on the severity of the accident, a fall can result in the serious injury of a worker. Such an incident can spell loss of productivity and profit, increased industrial insurance premiums, and expenditures associated with finding an appropriate replacement.
In an attempt to curb slipping/falling and the injuries that it causes, two researchers sought out a solution by taking a closer look at the helmeted guinea fowl, a bird that reacts to slips and falls similarly to humans.
Biomechanics researchers Timothy Higham of Clemson University and Andrew Clark of the College of Charleston placed the fowl on a six-meter runway and made it run either on a rough surface or a slippery one. The two researchers had this discovery:
“The key to avoiding slips seems to be speed and keeping the body mass forward, slightly ahead of the ankles after the foot contacts the ground,” says Higham, and adds that “the findings can be useful in helping humans, especially older ones, make their way across surfaces that are wet, icy or oily.”
Studies such as these are helpful in the prevention of slips and falls in the workplace, as well as anywhere else they can potentially occur. You can use the information above to let your workers know how they should move on slippery surfaces. It may help them avoid slipping and suffering a serious injury, which is a win-win situation for you and your employees. Here are additional tips to help you create a safer workplace.
Reduce wet or slippery surfaces
To prevent floors from becoming slippery, occupational health services recommend that employers keep their floors in good condition, clean up spills immediately, and use anti-skid material to cover floor surfaces.
Wear proper shoes
The right shoes have the potential to prevent a disastrous slip and fall. Employees should be required to wear the appropriate footwear for their job.
In case of slip and fall accident
Should a slip and fall accident occur, apply first aid immediately, then take the patient to the location of an occupational health service provider, such as U.S. HealthWorks.
(Researchers: Walk Quickly, Don’t Shuffle, on Slippery Surfaces, EHSToday.com)
(6 guidelines to prevent workplace slips, trips and falls, ReliablePlant.com)