Walking and Working Surfaces

Why should you care about walking and working surfaces?

Slips, trips and falls are almost always associated with dangerous walking and working surfaces. Seemingly insignificant walking and working surface hazards have caused permanent injury and even death. Falls account for around 15% of all accidental deaths, and are second only to motor vehicle accidents as a cause of occupational fatalities.

What are some common walking and working surface hazards?

1. Obstructions in aisles or passageways that can cause trips and falls onto the same or a lower level
2. Spills or leaks which can cause workers to slip and fall to the same or lower level
3. Missing or defective guard rails on surface leading edges or stairs which can lead to a fall
4. Uncovered floor openings and holes which can cause falls to same or lower levels
5. Open sided floors and platforms which can lead to falls to a lower level
6. Obstructed runways which can prevent exit during an emergency
7. Falling objects from upper walking or working surface can strike personnel, machinery or equipment

What can you do to protect yourself and others from walking and working surface hazards?

1. Visually inspect walking and working surfaces daily
2. Correct and / or report hazards which could lead to slips, trips or falls to your supervisor as soon as you become aware of them
3. Do not block aisles, passageways or other walking and working surfaces with material, tools or any other objects
4. Do not block access to fire extinguishers, doors, windows or staircases
5. Do not cover floor openings or holes with material unless the covering is strong enough to support the type of traffic that will be passing over the covering
6. Avoid laying tools, equipment or material onto work platforms whenever possible
7. Utilize toe boards whenever, beneath the open sides; persons can pass, there is machinery, or if there is equipment with which falling materials could create a hazard.

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