6 Safety Precautions You Can Take To Prevent A Slip & Fall Accident
Slipping and falling might seem like things that only the very elderly need to worry about, but they’re actually the accidents that cause 30% of all workplace-related injuries.
A lot of the media around slippage prevention centers around workplaces looking to prevent injury, but what can you as an individual do to reduce the chance of hurting yourself?
1. Respect signage
When was the last time you saw a “Wet Floor” sign and felt alarmed? It can be hard to feel nervous around a puddle, but slippery floors injure thousands every year, so don’t ignore any posted signage about potential hazards.
2. Wear the right shoes
Wearing proper footwear if you know you’re going to be walking a lot is essential. Shoes with traction on the soles help you keep your balance in different physical environments, so always dress for your situation.
If you work on a site where there’s construction, don’t wear open-toed shoes! And in general, we recommend avoiding flip-flops unless you’re on the beach.
3. Get floor mats
In your home, do you have floor mats? These products are more than just decorative objects; getting the right kind of mat for the right locations can stop falls and injuries.
For example, having a bath mat near your tub absorbs the water that might otherwise have caused you to slip getting out of the tub. A floor mat near your front door keeps puddles or gravel from collecting. Floor mats on wooden stairs can stop you from slipping when you walk in socks.
4. Don’t run
Depending on your job this might not be possible, but running is a huge risk factor for falling.
The faster you’re moving, the less time you have to react and the less fine motor control you have to balance yourself if you find yourself tripping and falling.
Unless you’re on an exercise track, wearing proper footwear, or in a situation where you’re planning on running, try not to hurry too fast to get somewhere.
Saving a few seconds isn’t worth the increased risk of taking a tumble.
5. Don’t carry too much
While we’ve all felt the pride of only having to take one trip from the car to the kitchen, overburdening yourself with too many packages in your arms can be dangerous.
Your center of balance changes, and then if you find yourself falling it’s harder to stop yourself. Next time you have a lot to carry, remember not to overburden yourself. Take a second trip!
6. Fall properly
Finally, if you realize that you’re falling, be sure to fall correctly.
In general, your aim should be to break your fall with your arms and hands. It’s much better to injure a limb than it is to hurt your skull or spine by falling straight down.
Fall flat on your palm or forearm and try to let your body go loose so you don’t stretch a muscle. If you fall backward, round your back and let your body roll. If you’re falling from a high height, use one arm to cradle your head.