FALLS OF ANY KIND
by Dr. Isabel Perry,
“The Safety Doctor”
One in eight Workers Compensation cases results from
slipping and falling. We fall for a
variety of reasons:
Unguarded wet floors
Loss of balance
Tripping over an object on the floor, such as
trash, unused materials, electrical cords, tools or anything else left in the
way. At home this can include pets,
children, and toys.
Falling from an elevated position, such as a
ladder or stairs
Foreign substances such as water, food, grease,
oil or debris
Slippery floors, which may be caused by weather
when rainwater or snow is tracked inside.
To avoid becoming an unwitting victim, pick up things that
you see out of place and put them away. Don’t wait for someone else to do it – they may be the one to trip or
fall. If it is materials that belong to
a contractor or business, let them know right away that they have a safety
Other things that you can do to stay safe:
Walk in designated areas only – shortcuts may
contain an unexpected hazard.
Concentrate on what you’re doing
Hold onto handrails when using the stairs
If you are carrying a heavy load, use the
The worst falls are from elevated positions, such as
ladders. They can result in serious
injury or death.
Positioning a ladder:
The proper length for a ladder positioned
against a wall is three rungs above the highest point.
The proper angle for climbing a ladder is one
foot away from the wall for every four feet of height. If you don’t have that, be sure to tie the
ladder securely to something.
When climbing or descending a ladder, place both
hands on the side rails. NEVER climb a ladder with your hands full. Climb as high as you need to and hoist any
tools or materials up with a rope.
Once you’re at the necessary height, don’t overreach. Your body and legs should be within the
ladder side rails. Extend only your arms.
Make sure the scaffold is assembled according to
Check for defects before using a scaffold.
Make sure that planking is level and clean.
Toe boards will help prevent tools from falling
and workers from slipping.
Slips and falls happen daily. They cause pain and suffering, sometimes
Stay safe –
practice safety daily.
Dr. Isabel Perry is
an internationally-known safety expert, motivational speaker, author, and
safety educator. Based in
, she can be reached at 407-291-1209 or via e-mail at