Simple mistakes shatter lives
Slips, trips and falls from height can all have serious consequences. Everyone can do more to ensure that their workplace becomes a safer environment. The effects of slips, trips and falls at work are far reaching, both for those involved, their families and the industries they work in. The cost to society alone is in the order of £800 million per year. The Shattered Lives Campaign website is here to help raise awareness, provide guidance and encourage employers and employees to take action to help reduce the risk of a slip, trip or fall at work.
Slips and trips account for more than a third of all major workplace injuries and are a common risk in the education sector. Being well aware of this, Hugh Baird College in Merseyside wanted to find an easy and practical way to prepare its students for the risks they may face in the industry.
The College’s hospitality and catering courses already contained a compulsory health and safety training module, but a strong existing relationship with the Health and Safety Executive led tutors to the STEP tool − the interactive e-learning course which explained which potential slip and trip hazards to look for and what simple, cost effective measures could help reduce them.
The tool has only recently been introduced into the curriculum, but it already appears to be helping to ready students to work safely in their future careers, with many on course to achieve a top grade in their health and safety assignment.
Dr Jette Burford, Hugh Baird Principal said: “The trial with our catering students seems to have been a great success and we are now looking at the possibility of using the STEP tool in other vocational areas such as our health and social care, construction, hairdressing and beauty therapy and motor vehicle maintenance courses.
“It’s about preparing students for the often harsh realities of a real work environment and getting them to ensure they put their safety and that of their work colleagues first.”
Grabbing a chair to reach something at a height can be tempting, especially when you’re in a rush. Stop and think, not using the correct access equipment can cause a fall with very serious consequences.
So, if you have to work at height, always use the correct access equipment for the job.
An unexpected obstacle in your path can cause a serious trip and fall. It is important to keep walkways clear, so make sure boxes, bags, cables and other obstacles aren’t left hanging around.
Leaving boxes around can cause a serious trip hazard. Resources and deliveries should be put into proper storage as quickly as possible and any empty boxes cleared away. Your actions can make a real difference.
Steps or ramps are places where a worker can trip or fall. If you have changes in level or ramps in your workplace think about sensible measures to make sure everyone knows where they are.
Spillages are one of the most common causes of slips in the workplace; we all need to be vigilant and clean up any spilt substance that could cause an accident. Take a look in your workplace and see if you can improve how you work.
Using the wrong cleaning method or the wrong cleaning equipment can put staff at risk by making the floor slippery. Make sure cleaners know the correct cleaning method and use it.