As noted by Arnold & Itkin LLP of Houston, TX, “Slip and fall injuries and accidents in the workplace account for up to 20% of workers compensation payouts in the country. The US Department of Labor estimates that close to 50% of workplace fatalities are the result of slip and fall accidents.” These facts highlight the importance of safety in the workplace. Taking a proactive stance on workplace safety can help eliminate missed work days, increase productivity, save on costly compensation claims and keep valued employees safe.
Onsite materials used for high altitude environments, such as forklifts and ladders, play a key role in these unforeseen accidents. Workers can easily lose balance or grip on slippery equipment due to the presence of chemicals, oils, greases and liquids. “The frequency of slip and fall accidents can be greatly reduced if proper fall protection systems are in place.” The fall protection system contains a step-by-step protocol for employees to follow to avoid slip and fall injuries, among others.
Guidelines must be followed to ensure a worker’s safety when using these onsite materials to prevent severe injury on the job. According to an article regarding “Fork Lift Platforms,” by Kundan Pandey, the “floor of the truck must be made slip resistant and its structure should be such that it is horizontal when it is connected to the forklift truck for elevation.” To avoid fatalities, the anti-slip platform would allow workers the extra traction grip assurance, just in case of a sudden “forklift platform opening.” A forklift work platform is constructed as either metal, steel or iron cases that are covered on all sides. Locks are installed on side of the case so that the worker can get inside and out safely.
Another commonly used piece of equipment on construction sites are ladders. Ladders are used in plants, construction sites and maintenance locations, among others. Ladder safety has become a high priority for employers. OSHA Standards have specific requirements for portable ladders to be used in a commercial environment. “Rungs must be so shaped that an employee’s foot cannot slide off, and must be skid-resistant.” Ladder rungs can be easily installed to create slip resistance in new ladders or ladder rungs can be retrofitted over existing ladders to add safety. Regardless of working conditions, whether it is in a factory or out in the field, ladder rungs need to be free from components such as chemicals, oils, grease, liquids and wet paint that can be the cause for a dangerous situation. Incorporating an anti-slip coating will allow the metal surface to repel these agents, providing the user with the security needed to perform the job successfully.
Arnold & Itkin LLC. “Slip & Fall Injury – Workplace Hazards.”
Occupational Safety & Health Administrators “OSHA Construction eTool: Misuse of Portable Ladders.”
Pandey, Kundan. “Forklift Work Platform.”