Don't Take That Trip!

It’s not the fall that kills you;
it’s the sudden stop at the end.    
— Douglas Adams 
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For more information, please see

this edition of Wachs Weekly!

Slip, Trip and Fall Hazard Control 

Prior to beginning a job/task, the first step in hazard control is to remove/eliminate hazards from the workplace. By utilizing engineering controls, the human error variable is removed when it comes to slip, trip and fall hazards (STFs).  

The most effective means of hazard controls for STF: 

  • Substitution. This could be as simple as substituting equipment such as ladders with scaffolding or scaffolding with aerial work platforms.
  • Engineering controls. These controls could be working or fabricating equipment at ground level as opposed to height. Engineering controls typically require fore thought and planning to make it work right.  Examples of this control would be the proper construction of elevated work areas to include hand and toe rails where required and proper design of fixed ladders and stairs.

Least effective methods of hazard controls include: 

  • Work Practice. Controls are put into place that change the way workers do the task to reduce exposure to hazards. This could include using fall protection while working on a ladder.
  • Administrative Controls. Administrative controls are used to control the way work is structured, such as frequently rotating those working from a ladder or increase work breaks to lessen the strain and stress on the body.

At the end of the day slip, trips and falls can be prevented: 

  • Pay attention to where you are going
  • Report poor lighting in working/walking areas
  • Help keep good housekeeping
  • Help keep walking and working surfaces clean
  • Walk, don't run
  • Always wear proper footwear
  • Immediately clean up spills/wet spots, or any debris

Keeping this in mind throughout the work day, will lessen the chances of you or a coworker becoming an STFs statistic.