Understanding the Guidelines and Standards for Preventable Injuries

Before knowing how to prevent injuries, it is important to be familiar with each type of accidents. Safe Work Australia defines slips as those caused by unsuitable footwear or slippery surfaces, while trips occur when your feet get caught on an inconspicuous object, such as uneven flooring and loose cables.

On the other hand, falls commonly take place as a result of the first two accidents, yet these can also happen when workers lose balance from slightly elevated structures, such as stairs.

Safe Work Australia offered several guidelines on how companies can reduce avoidable injuries resulting from slip, trip, fall and other workplace accidents.

Hazard Management

Between 2003 and 2015, these three accidents have led to the death of almost 390 workers, with environmental factors serving as the reason for 56 per cent of the time. While some accidents are beyond human control, companies should be proactive in identifying risks even before these become a liability.

For instance, a manufacturing facility should have safety procedures for the avoidance of waste build-up during the production phase. This reduces the likelihood of workers encountering injuries. Equipment and gear likewise serve important roles. The use of different footwear for dry and wet conditions is an example.

Other countries such as the US and Singapore likewise recognise the importance of dealing with slip, trip and fall accidents.

Updated Standards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the US updated its safety standards in 2016, as these aim to prevent annual workplace injuries comprising over 5,000 incidents.

However, some companies remain oblivious to the new guidelines. The new rules have required companies to have fall protection for 15 different areas at the workplace. OSHA estimated that the updated standards would cover 112 million workers in the country.

There is no such thing as a 100 per cent safe working environment, yet most injuries at the job site can be avoided with the right preventive measures. Make sure yours comply with the existing standards and have all the safety features and practices in place.