WorkSafeBC raising awareness about the dangers of slips, trips, and falls at work
Richmond, B.C. — WorkSafeBC is raising awareness about the dangers of slips, trips, and falls at work with an updated safety bulletin aimed at employers and workers.
Slips, trips, and falls put workers at risk of sprains, strains, bruises, concussions, and fractures. In severe cases, falls can lead to death or permanent disability. Each year, nearly 1,000 workers in B.C.’s manufacturing sector alone suffer fall injuries, costing businesses about 49,000 lost workdays and more than $22 million in claim costs. And many slips and falls occur due to environmental and outdoor weather conditions, particularly in winter months.
“Slips, trips, and falls are the third-leading cause of injury in manufacturing,” says Megan Martin, Manager, Industry & Labour Services – Manufacturing for WorkSafeBC. “Our safety bulletin is designed to help employers better understand how slips and trips happen, and the steps that can be taken to prevent them from happening.”
The simplest way of preventing slip, trip, and fall injuries in the workplace is to identify all the potential slip and trip hazards in the workplace, including areas such as parking lots, yards, and outdoor access areas. Here are some tips to identify and control hazards:
- Inspect the workplace regularly
- Have an effective workplace feedback system
- Analyze data, including near-miss incidents
- Based on greatest risk — use the hierarchy of controls to guide improvements
Under section 4.39 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, employers must ensure that floors, platforms, ramps, stairs, and walkways available for use by workers are maintained in a state of good repair and kept free of slipping and tripping hazards.
In 2018, WorkSafeBC launched a three-year manufacturing high-risk strategy to assist employers in the sector in strengthening their safety management system by focusing on risk reduction — taking a two-pronged approach of inspections and employer self-evaluations. Part of the strategy’s focus in 2019 has been on preventing slips, trips, and falls.
Similarly, WorkSafeBC’s 2019 high-risk strategy for construction included increased enforcement efforts on fall-protection systems used in the residential wood-frame construction industry.
WorkSafeBC’s high-risk strategies identify and target industries and employers with a high risk of serious workplace injury and a significant contribution to the serious-injury rate. High-risk strategies include four industry sectors: construction, forestry, health care, and manufacturing.
More information is available at: worksafebc.com.
WorkSafeBC engages workers and employers to prevent injury, disease, and disability in B.C. When work-related injuries or diseases occur, WorkSafeBC provides compensation and support to people in their recovery, rehabilitation, and safe return to work. We serve approximately 2.4 million workers and 245,000 employers across B.C.
For more information, contact:
Media Relations, WorkSafeBC