OHS Canada Magazine

Slips, trips injure 1,000 B.C. manufacturing workers each year

WorkSafeBC raising awareness about workplace dangers


October 22, 2019
By OHS Canada
OHS Canada
Categories
Health & Safety

Slips, trips and falls put workers at risk of sprains, strains, bruises, concussions and fractures, according to WorkSafeBC. (Witthaya/Adobe Stock)

WorkSafeBC is raising awareness about the dangers of slips, trips and falls at work with an updated safety bulletin aimed at both employers and workers.

Slips, trips and falls put workers at risk of sprains, strains, bruises, concussions and fractures. In severe cases, falls can lead to death or permanent disability.

Each year, nearly 1,000 workers in B.C.’s manufacturing sector alone suffer fall injuries, costing businesses about 49,000 lost workdays and more than $22 million in claim costs. And many slips and falls occur due to environmental and outdoor weather conditions, particularly in winter months.

“Slips, trips and falls is the third-leading cause of injury in manufacturing,” said Megan Martin, WorkSafeBC’s manager of industry and labour services, manufacturing, in Richmond, B.C.

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“Our safety bulletin is designed to help employers better understand how slips and trips happen, and the steps that can be taken to prevent them from happening.”

The simplest way of preventing slips, trips and falls injuries in the workplace is to identify all the potential slip and trip hazards in the workplace including areas such as parking lots, yards, and outdoor access areas, according to WorkSafeBC.

Here are some tips to identify and control hazards:

  • inspect the workplace regularly
  • have an effective workplace feedback system
  • analyze data including near-miss incidents
  • based on greatest risk, use the hierarchy of controls to guide improvements.

Under section 4.39 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, employers must ensure that floors, platforms, ramps, stairs and walkways available for use by workers are maintained in a state of good repair and kept free of slipping and tripping hazards.