Trips and Falls - Treatment & Prevention
Did you know that slips, trips and falls are the most common cause of injury at work? Have you considered how many of this type of accident happen in your workplace?
According to HSE’s annual health and safety at work statistics, slips, trips and falls are responsible for 29% of workplace accidents and costs UK employers £500m each year.
What can you do?
The best way to prevent slips and trips is by improving and inspecting three things:
Walkways – are walkways in the right place and available to use? Think about what tasks are taking place on the walkway and if the task will prevent someone from seeing where they are going, for example. Are people required to step up or down whilst walking on the walkways?
Housekeeping – as well as ensuring walkways are clear of any obstructions, such as trailing wires, staff members need to take responsibility for making sure walkways are clear.
Design and maintenance – flooring should be fitted correctly and properly maintained and wide enough.
Falls from height can be anything from ground level so never underestimate the fall from a low height. Make sure that ladders are of suitable construction, well maintained and suited to the task they are being used for. Where inspection pits are in use, ensure that this are covered when not in use, guarded if needed and clearly marked.
First aid for falls
Slips, trips and falls commonly result in sprains, strains or even broken bones. Here are some tips for first aid if this happens.
Sprains and strains
If someone falls, they could twist their ankle or wrist or overstretch a muscle in their shoulder, back or leg. Sprains or strains are usually swollen and painful and can sometimes bruise. If this happens:
Get the person to rest.
Apply an ice pack to the injury for up to 20 minutes - this will help to reduce the pain and swelling.
If there is no improvement, advise them to seek medical advice.
Broken bones can happen as a result of a fall if someone falls from a height or if they land in an awkward position.
If you think that the person may have broken a bone, it is important that they do not move it. Try and get them into a comfortable position, support the broken limb, and call 999 to get medical assistance.