Slips, trips and falls (STF) remain one of the leading causes of injury at work in Australia. According to data from SafeWork Australia, 23% of serious claims in the 2019-2020 FY were due to STF (serious claims include all accepted workers’ compensation claims for an incapacity that results in a total absence from work of one working week or more). It’s estimated that serious claims attract a median compensation of $13,500 per claim.
As we return to pre-pandemic levels of activity and industries see a resumption in services, it is worth checking on the workplace safety at your sites to ensure that you’re doing everything you can to prevent injuries on the job.
In addition to incident investigation, workplace inspections can assist in reducing the likelihood of incidents and provide a valuable touchpoint with your employees for the safety of all workers and members of the public.
When assessing the design of workplaces and seeking to minimise injuries, it is helpful to consider the following:
- Elimination – designers can eliminate STF hazards by understanding the final purpose of the workplace and seeking to minimise risk to end-users. For example, ensuring level flooring throughout a venue, limiting wet areas to non-high-traffic zones and ensuring adequate power points to eliminate the risks associated with extension cords.
- Substitution – replacing risky flooring with slip-resistant surfaces or utilising non-slip mats where appropriate.
- Isolation – limiting access to high-risk areas like wet floors, for example, by cordoning off freshly cleaned floors.
- Administrative Controls – implementing clear guidelines and a process of accountability for housekeeping tasks, including training and supervision as required.
- Personal Protective Equipment – supplying workers with slip-resistant footwear.
The tips above are designed to be points to consider while conducting workplace inspections and can assist in improving the safety at your venue. They can also serve as pertinent reminders during wet weather events.
Eighteen33 has provided the above advice as a general guide only and always recommends speaking with a trusted and qualified professional for advice regarding your business’s workplace health and safety requirements. We can review your current policies to ensure your business has the appropriate STF policies and safety approaches.