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3i Approach to Slips and Trips

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Slips and trips are the most common cause of injury at work in many industries around the world and in many cases account for over 40% of all incidents reported. They are often the cause of major injuries resulting in long term absence which may have a major impact on individuals and society in general.

The solutions to address slips and trips are often simple and low-cost to implement. Yet companies fail to address it correctly. By following the measures described below they will certainly help you in implementing an effective program to reduce slips and trips within your company.
3i Slip and Trip Identification

What is important is to look at slips and trips as a very distinct hazard identification process that you need to tackle very carefully. The assessment process does not need to be complex or quantifiable with score ratings that most people never understand. It needs be what we call a very simple 3i approach.

1. Identify the slip trip hazards
2. Identify who will be at risk,
3. Identify the appropriate control measures

Identify the hazards in your workplace that may lead to slip or trip injuries and who will be at risk. Then decide on suitable and effective control measures which will prevent accidents occurring. Just remember do not use generic assessments in your decision making process as they quite often fail to address real local issues.
Prevention Methods to Prevent Slips and Trips

Once you have completed the 3i assessment you may need to implement control measures and in addition communicate to employees what is required of them as individuals at work.

For instance you might have identified power cables from hand power tools are the main cause of tripping incidents. So a simple safety control measure could be adopting the use of battery powered tools and eliminating the use of cables. This would result in total removal of the hazard and risk.

One prevalent cause of slips and trips is wet or slippery floor surfaces in office buildings. Now this may need to be professional assessed as to the cause of the slipperiness and treated accordingly. For example the use of non-slip cleaning materials or water catchment mats at main entrances to the office building.

Communication and Awareness

There are many methods that you can use to communicate including, toolbox or safety briefings, safety posters, to lessons learnt from incidents that may have taken place. The method you use to maintain awareness will depend on workplace location, your employees and others who may be at risk. Just make sure that you review regularly and change and adapt your control measures as necessary.
Remember any slips and trips campaign you run needs to be a long term strategy in order to maintain awareness. If you tackle this correctly you will drastically reduce your incident rates and insurance compensation payments

You can download the article complete with graphics from the ISQEM Blog http://www.isqem.wordpress.com
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About the Author

Wayne J. Harris

Wayne is a highly regarded international specialist in developing corporate risk and HSE management systems. He has advised major organisations both private and governmental, on key issues of strategy and organisational risk and safety management for over 30 years.

Experience gained in dealing within the international arena and multiple cultures from Europe, Asia-Pacific, to the Middle East has given him a comprehensive understanding of global risk issues facing an organisation in today’s business economy. He has held various senior corporate roles, and sat on the Board of Directors of several companies including a Chamber of Commerce. He is also the Chairman of ISQEM, and Director of the World Safety Organization (UN-NGO).
Email: wayne.harris@isqem.com

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