Slips, trips, and falls are the most common OSHA injury. This means you need to take action to prevent them for your fleet drivers.
By taking the necessary steps, you can reduce your cost of loss and protect your employees from these serious accidents.
On the surface, these accidents sound minor. You probably slip or trip at home all the time without serious repercussions. In reality, though, these accidents can have severe consequences.
Slips, trips, and falls result in injuries such as:
These injuries can even be fatal.
The immediate concern should be obvious. Your employees are at risk of pain and suffering because of these accidents. The secondary concern might not be as clear.
OSHA violations likely present a large portion of your cost of loss. OSHA violations result in fines, court appearances, lost time, workers’ compensation, and more.
If you’re not proactive, accidents such as slips, trips, and falls can hamper your growth and cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars or more per year.
Your fleet drivers are at risk of slips, trips, and falls for two main reasons: unsafe conditions and unsafe behaviors.
Unsafe conditions create more risk for these accidents. Wet floors and adverse weather like rain and snow increase the risk of slips. Cluttered rooms or poor lighting increase the risk of trips. Faulty equipment increases the risk of falls.
On the other side of things, unsafe behaviors create risk as well. Texting and walking, ignoring clutter or spills, using the wrong equipment or misusing equipment are all unsafe behaviors that lead to accidents.
Additionally, failing to respond to an unsafe condition is an unsafe behavior in and of itself. If the stairs are wet and an employee slips, it could be that he or she failed to pay attention or take the proper precautions.
If you want to reduce these accidents, you need to reduce unsafe conditions and unsafe behaviors throughout your company.
Now that we know the factors that lead to these accidents, we can work towards preventing them.
Reducing risk and, thus, reducing accidents and OSHA violations requires a two-step approach:
Creating policies is a great place to start for reducing slips, trips, and falls.
Here are some basic policies you need in place:
These policies are important for reducing risk, but alone they do nothing. They must be accepted and carried out by your workforce.
Start by introducing and educating your employees on these policies. Lead with why they exist. Make it clear that they are of benefit to your employees.
Next, take these policies seriously. Don’t let someone off the hook for breaking a policy. If you walk by an unsafe condition or unsafe behavior, you as a leader must intervene immediately. If you walk by someone doing something the right way, point that out and give them kudos.
And finally, you need to walk the walk. Follow these policies to a tee. If your employees see you or other leaders cutting corners, they will too.
As we pointed out above, risk often comes from unsafe behaviors. Policies won’t change behavior on their own. You need to educate and train your employees to behave in the correct way.
Many companies invest in professionally-produced training programs that educate employees on OSHA issues such as slips, trips, and falls. A program like The Fleet Safety Course will reduce these accidents and save you more money than you invest in the program.
You can then use a product like The Fleet Safety Course in your new-hire training, re-training, and monthly safety meetings.
You need to make reducing slips, trips and falls a focus throughout an employee’s career with you.
If your employees are at risk, you’re at risk.
They face the risk of getting hurt or even killed, and you face the risk of cost of loss, fines, court appearances, and even getting shut down.
Don’t accept this risk as a fact of life. Implement the correct safety policies and invest in effective training. By preventing these accidents, you’ll save yourself time and money while protecting your employees from serious accidents.
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