According to WorkSafeBC, approximately 20% of workplace injuries are related to slips, trips, and falls every year. Almost 41,000 workers across BC have suffered slip-trip-and-fall injuries, including fractures, sprains and dislocations in the past six years (2017). And during the winter months when icy and wet conditions are prevalent, slips, trips, and falls contribute to an 11% increase in injury claims.
Slips, trips, and falls are the costliest workplace incidents and one of the biggest causes of productivity loss. On average, slip-trip-and-fall injuries cost BC businesses 440,000 lost workdays and more than $148 million in claim costs each year.
Barry Nakahara, Senior Manager, Prevention Field Services at WorkSafeBC remarks, “Slips, trips, and falls can lead to debilitating injuries that impact both workers and businesses alike. The good news is the majority of slip-trip-and-fall incidents are preventable.”
The simplest way of preventing injuries from slips, trips, and falls in the workplace is to conduct regular risk assessments and develop and implement a risk management plan with preventative measures in place to reduce safety hazards and risks.
Reviewing your incident and near miss records can help. You may find your first aid records show a pattern of injuries in a specific area. It is up to you as an owner, supervisor or Joint health & safety committee to decide where to start in tackling slips, trips and fall injuries.
BCFSC’s injury prevention resources provide tips and techniques to help you educate yourself and your workers, improve your safety management system and inspire practical solutions for loss prevention in your operations. These resources are intended for you to customize the material to your company with your specific policies, procedures or equipment:
- To enhance current injury prevention efforts within your organization.
- To develop a slips, trips & falls prevention training program.
- To develop a safety bulletin or internal training memo for posting.
- To provide an educational component to crew safety meetings/tailgate meetings
- The slips trips and falls presentation can be presented to workers or used to build your knowledge as a safety leader.
- Injury prevention efforts are most successfully when targeted as part of a specific strategy – prioritize what injury types to focus on and provide support to workers, supervisors, first aid personnel and Joint Health & Safety Committee members to help reduce those target areas.
- Orientation ‐ Workers should be introduced to information about how slips, trips and falls happen and the importance of self‐care in reducing these types of injuries during orientation.
- Safety Bulletins/Alerts – Produce a Safety Alert or Bulletin for your company following a slip, trip or fall injury.
- Crew Talks/Safety Meetings ‐ Use crew talks to remind workers of their slips, trips & falls awareness training during company safety meetings or display a printed version in safety materials or common areas.
- On‐site orientations/Visitor Orientations ‐ Provide further information and training on moving safely through the bush or on the worksite at start‐up safety meetings when establishing bush camps.
- Program Development – Management and/or the Joint Health & Safety Committee can use the information provided to further expand or develop in‐house training programs.