Irish OSH Agency Offers Useful Slip Guidance

"Get a grip: Stop slips & trips" includes a comprehensive checklist and advises users to remember the acronym SHOES for Spills, High-risk areas, Over-used signs, Environmental cleanliness, and Shoes.

The Health and Safety Authority of Ireland has posted a concise guidance document that will help managers and employees control slip, trip, and same-level fall hazards. Titled "Get a grip: Stop slips & trips," the document includes a comprehensive checklist and advises users to remember the acronym SHOES, for Spills, High-risk areas, Over-used signs, Environmental cleanliness, and Shoes.

Slips, trips, and same-level falls account for 20 percent of all reported accidents and represented 44 percent of employer liability awards in 2008, according to the agency, which notes that one in every five slips, trips, or falls results in more than one month of lost time.

The document reminds employees to report spills and deal with them immediately; use and take proper care of slip-resistant footwear and other PPE; identify locations where spills are likely and locate absorbent materials near them; and consider nominating someone on each shift to be responsible for spills.

High-risk areas include transition areas with a sudden change in the grip level of the floor surface, liquid sources (such as locations with water coolers, deep fat fryers, or plants), damaged flooring or pavement, floors with mats or rugs, locations where cables and hoses are present, and areas where levels change (such as ramps, stairs, drainage channels, and holes).

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