Slips, trips, and falls costing B.C. workplaces
By Adam FreillConstruction Health & Safety
WorkSafeBC says that some 7,000 workers suffer injuries due to slips, trips, and falls every year.
Slips, trips, and falls are the costliest workplace incidents and some of the biggest causes of general productivity loss, reports WorkSafeBC. Each year, approximately 20 per cent of workplace injuries in B.C. are related to slips, trips, and falls. On average, the injuries caused cost businesses in the province 440,000 lost workdays and more than $148 million in claim costs each year.
In the past six years, slips, trips and falls have caused fractures, sprains, dislocations and other injuries to almost 41,000 workers. Construction is one of the most impacted sectors.
As such, the health and safety organization is urging employers and workers to manage the prevalent risk of slips, trips, and falls in the workplace.
“Slips, trips, and falls can lead to debilitating injuries that impact both workers and businesses alike,” explained Barry Nakahara, senior manager, prevention field services at WorkSafeBC. “The good news is the majority of slip-trip-and-fall incidents are preventable, and the basic precautions are easy and cost-effective.”
The simplest way of preventing injuries from slips, trips, and falls in the workplace, says the organization, is to develop and implement a risk management plan that uses the established hierarchy of controls to identify and assess controls, and to monitor safety hazards and risks.
Some examples include the installation of covers, drip pans, containers or containment rooms; storing all tools, equipment, and materials in their designated locations; and determining the right type of footwear for workers to wear based on the slip and trip hazards in the workplace.
With winter coming, and as icy and wet conditions contribute to an 11 per cent increase in injuries due to slips, trips, and falls, Nakahara notes that risk assessments should be revisited on a regular basis, and especially when workplace conditions change.