Fifteen percent of all accidental deaths at work are cause by slips, trips and falls. Only motor vehicle accidents account for more fatalities, as reported the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA.
It is such grim reading that highlights the importance of the recent standards from West Virginia OSHA on the topic of Slips Trips Falls. Employers would do well to take notice of the standards in an effort to make sure that their workers do not fall into those statistics.
Many slips trips and falls are the result of a low level of general housekeeping. By checking housekeeping and instigating a safety awareness program, employers can help reduce the number of slips trips and falls in work areas.
Service rooms, storerooms, passageways and all areas of employment should be checked on a regular basis to ensure that they are being kept clean, dry and in a tidy condition.
An up-to-date Slips Trips and Falls poster should be displayed where workers can see it easily and often, to remind them to clear up all drops and spillages quickly and efficiently.
Other ways of avoiding slips trips and falls include checking that passageways and aisles are kept clean and tidy, and free of any clutter or obstacles that may cause a hazard. They should be checked for protruding nails, splinters, loose floors and holes.
Passageways should be wide enough for two people to pass through, and clearly marked. When employees need to leave the building quickly, they should not be hindered by anything that can cause them to slip trip or fall.
Vehicle traffic should be kept down in aisle and passageways, and in areas where machinery is used, there should be adequate room for machinery, materials and workers.
The OSHA revised standards apply to all areas of working spaces, except where only mining, agriculture of domestic work is carried out.
Feeling complacent about workplace safety?
Consider these facts from a recent West Virginia OSHA Alert. If a new form of influenza were to develop, no one would have built up immunity to it. The flu virus could then spread quickly, taking a toll on human life before a vaccine could be developed.
If you’ve never worried about the flu, a recent West Virginia OSHA alert may change your mind.
Influenza, which many of us consider a seasonal disease with annoying symptoms, can pose a workplace hazard if a pandemic were to occur. OSHA feels employers and employees should prepare now for the possibility.
A pandemic is a disease that travels around the world, spreading easily between people. This type of global illness could result in a significant number of deaths, not to mention it would cause a disruption in the world’s social network and problems with the world’s economy.
This concern isn’t just theory. Influenza pandemics have happened before. The last pandemic was in 1957. This flu killed 1 million people around the world. This influenza pandemic was contained quickly. The Spanish Flu of 1918 killed 25 million people in only 25 weeks. Moreover, approximately 20% of the world’s population contracted this disease.
A pandemic, such as the one of 1918, not only can result in a high death toll, it can disrupt society and cause havoc with the economy worldwide. OSHA feel employers and employees alike should prepare in case of a pandemic.
Although the bird flu could cause a pandemic, the more likely pandemic scenario is one caused by a familiar form of influenza. When they happen, pandemics can take a real toll on human lives. In 1957, the influenza pandemic killed about 1 million people worldwide. An influenza pandemic is a serious concern to everyone in society, and employers and employees need to be prepared in case the worst-case scenario occurs.