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Health and Safety: Teaching Tools

Slips, Trips and Falls

Slips, Trips and Falls

Slips, trips and falls can occur anywhere. Therefore, to minimize their risk, you must understand their risk factors. These include:

Obstacles on the floor - extension cords, boxes, dirt and dust, etc.

Spills and slippery surfaces - when a liquids (water or oil) and solids (dust or ice), coat a surface they decrease the amount of traction you have, therefore making it easier to slip and fall.

Risk Factors

Visibility - This risk factor usually combines with the previous two risk factors in that, if there are obstacles or slippery surfaces and you can't see them, you will likely make contact with them, increasing your risk of falling.

Preventing Slips and Trips

CLEAN up floor spills immediately.
PUT salt or sand on ice


WEAR shoes with good traction. Discard worn out shoes.
REMOVE obstacles from walkways.
KEEP floors and walking surfaces free of clutter.
EXERCISE care when walking on wet floors (e.g. wet kitchen floor) and icy walkways.
USE non-slip mats under loose area rugs.


do not
DO NOT LEAVE trash, clutter, obstacles, or torn rugs in walkways or on the floor.

Rules for Preventing Slips and Trips

Slips and trips can be prevented by following simple rules such as:

Rules for Prevention

Spills - Clean up the floor immediately and following your clean-up procedures. If the spill is a toxic chemical, use safety procedures recommended in the material safety data sheet.

Ice / Snow - Put salt or sand on ice and snow.

Area Rugs - Use non-slip mats under loose area rugs.

Wet areas - Place warning signs.

Lighting - Ensure good visibility; change burned-out bulbs.

Stairs - Keep them free from clutter. Do not store materials on the steps.

Foot Wear - Wear shoes with good traction. Throw out old and worn shoes or boots.

Housekeeping - Keep floors and walking surfaces free of clutter, trash, obstacles or torn rugs in walkways or on the floor.

Trash and scrap - Clean up and dispose in proper containers.

Hand tools - Take them back to the storage area - do not leave them around on the floor. Be careful not to run electrical cords across aisleways when you're using the tool.

Boxes and drums - Store on a firm foundation and stack them properly to prevent them from falling.

Cables and hoses - Bundle them and store in the designated area.

Empty containers and pallets - Store in the designated area. Single pallets may be better stored on their ends, leaning pallets against a wall.

Broken glass - Clean up using proper tools and hand protection. Dispose in a container with hard walls that cannot be punctured by broken glass pieces.

General Safety Precautions for Working or Walking at Heights

Rules for Prevention

USE required personal protection when working at heights greater than 3 metres.
USE fall protection and fall restraint systems.
WEAR safety shoes with good traction.
HOLD on to a support.
FOLLOW three point contact rule when climbing or working from a ladder.
CHECK with your supervisor for safety training information.
INSPECT ladders and scaffolds before using them. If you notice defects do not use them and report the defect to your teacher or supervisor.

Falls From Heights Can Be Prevented

Working at Heights

HOLD on to a support (such as a guardrail or the ladder itself) to ensure your body maintains 3-point contact when climbing or working from a ladder.
USE guardrails while climbing stairs or working on raised platforms, balconies or mezzanines.
WEAR appropriate footwear for the work being performed. For example, do not wear high heels when climbing a ladder.
do not
DO NOT CLIMB on boxes, shelves, chairs or tables to reach what you want - use the proper equipment such as a step ladder, or a stool.

Preventing Falls from Heights

DO NOT BEND to reach too far from a ladder or an elevated platform.

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