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Slip, Trip, and Fall Prevention

To minimize injury or death from incidents involving slips, trips, and falls, Dow Aero Logistics, LLC ("Company") has developed prevention procedures, including worksite evaluations, hazard elimination, and employee training. The objectives of these procedures are to:

  • Identify working environments where slip, trip, and fall hazards are most likely to occur.
  • Eliminate identified hazards.
  • Train employees working in environments where hazards are likely to arise.

Responsibilities

The responsibilities listed below supplement the core responsibilities outlined in the Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP).

Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S)

EH&S is responsible for:

  • Assisting departments in evaluating areas where slip, trip, and fall hazards are prevalent and provide suggestions to remove deficiencies.
  • Making available training for employees who work in areas where slip, trip, and fall hazards are prevalent.
  • Analyzing and reporting trends in injury and/or incidence rates related to slip, trip, and fall hazards.
  • Developing, implementing, and maintaining the Slip, Trip, and Fall Prevention Program.

Managers

Managers are responsible for the following:    

  • Assisting in the identification and elimination of slip, trip, and fall hazards found in common and/or shared areas.
  • Before, during, and/or after construction and renovation activities in situations where building occupants and the general public may be affected.
  • As appropriate, assisting departments with the removal of facility-related slip, trip, and fall hazards.
  • Consulting with EH&S for assistance in addressing slip, trip, and fall hazards as appropriate. 

Supervisors

Supervisors are responsible for the following:

  • Identifying work locations that are “Higher Risk Areas.”
    • For definition of “Higher Risk Area,” refer to the next section, Hazard Identification.
  • Ensuring periodic workplace inspections are conducted to identify slip, trip, and fall hazards.
  • Properly addressing slip, trip, and fall hazards promptly and consulting with EH&S if a slip, trip, and/or fall hazard cannot be abated.
  • Ensuring appropriate training is provided for all employees who will be working in higher risk areas where slip, trip, and fall hazards are prevalent.
  • Evaluating employees’ compliance with safe work practices.
  • Where routine or occasional floor cleaning is performed by departmental staff, creating a floor maintenance procedure and ensuring that personnel properly and consistently follow floor maintenance procedures.
  • Promptly reporting all employee injuries to EH&S by completing and submitting an Incident Investigation Report

Employees

Employees who work in a higher risk area are responsible for the following:

  • Adhering to the recommended housekeeping practices & other safe work practices to prevent slip, trip and fall related incidents.  This includes cleaning up spills immediately, marking spills and wet areas, mopping or sweeping debris from floors, and removing obstacles from walkways, and keeping areas free from clutter.
  •  Following all safety practices as listed in the Company’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program, including but not limited to:
    • Reporting potential hazards to the supervisor immediately.
    • Reporting accidents to a supervisor or EH&S immediately.

Hazard Identification

Slip, trip, and fall hazards

Common slip, trip, and fall hazards result from:

  • Wet or contaminated floors (e.g. grease, liquids, ice, oil, dust, fine powders, etc).
    • Rain water - Transmitted internally from open external doors or from the feet, coats, or umbrellas of pedestrians.
    • Water, other fluids - From spills, plumbing leaks, cleaning, or ice machines.
    • Floor cleaning products - Resulting from failure to follow appropriate cleaning protocol.
    • Body fluids - Blood, vomit.
    • Condensation - Variations in temperature.
    • Dusts - Natural or from stored materials.
    • Debris - Bags, paper, food residues, soil, or cardboard boxes.
  • Other possible sources
    • Uneven walking surfaces, holes, changes in level, broken or loose floor tiles, defective or wrinkled carpet, or uneven steps or thresholds
    • Mats or rugs not laying flat on the floor
    • Obstructions and accumulation of objects in walkways (e.g. hoses, cords, cables, debris, etc.)
    • Unguarded platforms, walkways, and work areas 30 inches above the ground
    • Inadequate illumination (see the Design Guidelines for specific requirements)

Higher-risk areas

Any area where a slip, trip, or fall hazard is likely to arise during a typical work shift is considered a higher-risk area. Examples include:

  • Maintence shop (hoses within walkways)
  • Loading docks (elevated locations)
  • Kitchen and dining areas (wet floors)

Hazard Control Measures

General housekeeping procedures and safe work practices

The following housekeeping procedures and safe work practices must be followed to prevent accidents associated with slip, trip and fall hazards:

General safety

  • Avoid running or walking too fast, especially in higher risk areas.
  • Avoid carrying items that will obstruct one’s view of their walking pathway.
  • Avoid walking through potential slip, trip, and fall hazards.
  • Use extra caution when traveling both outdoors and indoors during or following wet weather.

General housekeeping procedures

  • Clean up spills immediately. For greasy liquids, use a suitable cleaning agent.
  • Do not leave floors wet after cleaning – clean them to a completely dry finish if possible.
    • If "clean-to-dry" is not possible, then use barriers and "wet floor" warning signs to keep people off the wet area.
  • Use cleaning methods that do not spread the problem.
    • Small spills are often better dealt with using a paper towel instead of a mop that wets a larger area of floor.
  • Do not use cardboard to soak up spills.

Slip hazards

  • Floors, platforms, and walkways shall be maintained in good repair, and reasonably free of oil, grease, or water.
    • Mats, grates, or other methods that provide equivalent protection shall be used on areas where operation requires walking on slippery surfaces.
  • Slip-resistant floor coatings should be used in areas that are likely to get wet or subject to frequent spills.
  • Slip hazards must be identified and removed promptly.
  • Warning signs or other equally effective means (barricades) should be used as a warning system in areas where a slip hazard is present.

Trip hazards

  • Platforms and walkways shall be free of obstructions & dangerous projections (e.g. extension cords, power cables, hoses, carts, boxes, debris).
  • Position equipment to avoid cables crossing pedestrian routes; use cable covers securely fixed to surfaces, or consider use of cordless tools.
  • Surfaces in poor repair (i.e. holes, surface upheaval, and broken tiles) shall be repaired or guarded by readily visible barricades, rails or other equally effective means.
  • Ensure floor mats and rugs are securely fixed and do not have curling edges.

Elevated locations

  • Guardrails shall be provided on all open sides of unenclosed elevated locations.
    • Examples of elevated locations include: balconies, runway ramps, or working surfaces that are more than 30 inches above the floor, ground, or other working areas of a building.

Ladder use

  • When a ladder is used, the employee shall follow safe ladder practices (see Ladder Safety).
  • If using Elevating Work Platforms & Aerial Devices (e.g. vertical tower, scissor lift, mast-climbing work platform):
    • Only employees who have been trained and approved by a supervisor shall operate elevating work platforms and aerial devices.
      • NOTE: Aerial device and elevating work platforms are vehicle-mounted or self-propelled devices designed to elevate a platform/individual in a substantially vertical axis.

Floor mats and other floor treatments

Floor mats

Floor mats shall be placed at:

  • Building entrances
  • Higher risk areas
    • Where walking-working surfaces may encounter wetness or other slippery conditions.  
  • Kitchen areas

The design of floor mats should have the following features:

  • Slip-resistant surface on both top and bottom sides.
  • Slots or similar design to help promote drainage and prevent accumulation of water & grease.
  • Antibacterial treatment or similar design to help prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

Floor mats should not be installed and used in such a way that the mat itself becomes a slip or trip hazard. Where wet processes are used, drainage shall be maintained and false floors, platforms, mats, or other dry standing places provided.

Floor maintenance procedures

A floor maintenance procedure must exist where routine or occasional floor cleaning is performed by departmental staff. It is recommended to review the floor cleaner agent's directions for guidance on a suggested cleaning procedures. The following should be considered when developing a floor maintenance procedure:

  • The type of floor finish products used, including slip-resistant polymer finishes, strippers, degreasers, and general cleaners.
  • Proper application methods for products, including proper dilution and time schedules for each component or process.
  • Proper warning system used during floor maintenance operation to alert building occupants of the presence of potential slip, trip, and fall hazards.
  • Documentation of products used, including Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), and specifications regarding the slip-resistance level of the product.
  • Periodic review of maintenance program, especially after a report of an employee “near miss” or actual incident.

Slip-resistant footwear

Employees who work in potentially slippery higher risk areas must wear slip-resistant footwear.  When selecting slip-resistant footwear, the following should be considered:

  • Level of slip-resistance
    • i.e. polyurethane and microcellular urethane soles are more slip-resistant compared to nitrite and styrene rubber.
  • Tread design, tread hardness, and shape of sole and heel
    • i.e. High elastic soles with raised-tread and cross-hatch patterns are more slip-resistant than rough and flat soles.
    • Tread patterns should cover the whole sole and heel area.
  • Proper support and comfort

NOTE: The use of slip-resistant footwear alone is not adequate to prevent slip-related accidents. General housekeeping procedures, safe work practices, and matting/floor treatments (as necessary) must be used.

Inspections

Inspections to identify slip, trip, and fall hazards are included in the periodic inspection as described in the Injury and Illness Prevention Program. For higher-risk areas, a periodic inspection is recommended at least on a quarterly basis, or more frequently, depending on the likelihood for changing conditions.

Recommended inspections should minimally include the following:

  • Condition of floors, carpets, and steps.
  • Floor maintenance protocol.
  • Housekeeping practices.
  • Lighting levels.
  • Presence and condition of guardrails or handrails at elevated work surfaces.

Training

For employees working in higher-risk areas, training shall be provided to ensure that employees comply with safe work practices. Department-specific trainings may be arranged upon request.

General housekeeping and safe work practices

All employees who may work in a higher-risk area shall be trained on:

  • Recognizing potential hazards.
  • The use of control measures to prevent slip, trip, and fall-related accidents.

The supervisor and/or department manager, in collaboration with EH&S will determine the frequency of training. 

Floor maintenance procedures

  • Where departmental staff are assigned to perform routine or occasional floor maintenance, training should be provided.
  • When new products and/or equipment are used, departmental staff should receive adequate re-training.

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