Trip Hazards

Many workers are injured annually due to falls on walking and working surfaces. These injuries account for a significant percentage of lost-time injuries. Not only are trips an economical loss, they also account for a lot of pain and suffering and sometimes even death. It is important to understand how trips happen, how to identify hazards, and how to eliminate or minimize these hazards.

Trips occur when your foot strikes or hits an object which causes you to lose your balance. Common causes of tripping are:

  • Clutter on the floor (e.g., power cords, boxes).
  • Poor lighting.
  • Uneven walking surfaces (e.g., carpeting, steps, thresholds).
  • Sudden change in slip resistance properties of walking surfaces (e.g., wet floor or stepping from tiled to thick pile carpeted floors)

Good housekeeping is very important when working to prevent falls due to slips and trips. Good housekeeping includes:

  • Clean up any spills immediately and investigate its cause to prevent reoccurrence.
  • Immediately correct any hazard that might cause a fall or report it to a supervisor.
  • Keep walkways and floors clear of boxes, extension cords and litter.
  • Sweep debris from floors.
  • Mark any temporarily made wet areas with signs or limit pedestrian access.
  • Secure mats, rugs, and carpets to prevent slippage and overlaps.
  • Make sure to always close file cabinet or storage drawers.
  • Cover cables that cross over walkways.
  • Keep walkways and work areas well-lit for good visibility.