Safety talk - Gravity always wins!

Slips, trips, and falls are one of the most frequent causes of accidents, both on and off the job. In the United States each year, more than 300,000 people suffer disabling injuries from falls. Slips, trips, and falls can be fatal as well; they rank second only to automobile accidents. To prevent slips, trips, and falls, slow down and remember the following:

Watch where you walk
Continually look down for spilled liquids, materials, equipment, changing surface levels, etc. Use a flashlight if lighting is poor.

Wear proper footwear
Make sure your shoes are in good shape and appropriate for the job and weather conditions. Discard worn-out shoes with smooth soles and other defects. If conditions are wet and slippery, wear non-slip shoes or boots. Avoid footwear with leather soles, which have poor traction, especially on smooth surfaces.

Check floor openings
Avoid unguarded floor openings. When a cover is placed over a floor opening, avoid walking on the cover unless it is absolutely secure and will not move or collapse. Never jump over pits or other openings.

Be careful on stairs
Don’t run when going up or down stairs. Check to see that stair treads are in good shape and that there are no obstructions on the steps. Always use handrails. Avoid carrying large loads when going up or down stairs.

Use ladders correctly
Never use broken or defective ladders. Set the ladder at the proper angle. Abide by the 1:4 rule – the base of the ladder should be placed one foot out for every four feet of height. This means if you are using a 12-foot ladder, the base should be three feet from the structure.

Make sure the ladder is on solid footing and will not move when you climb onto it. Whenever possible, tie your ladder to the structure to improve stability. Anchoring the bottom is also a good idea. Never stand on the top two steps of a stepladder.

Don't jump out of vehicles
Hang onto the door or handrail and use the steps provided, remembering the “three-point rule” (one hand, two feet or two hands, one foot). Avoid stepping onto loose rocks, slippery surfaces, oil spills, etc.

Watch your step and don’t trip yourself up! Remember: gravity always wins!

Gravity Always Wins! Courtesy of

Management training
Slip, trip, and fall accidents are some of the most preventable in the workplace. By eliminating hazards that cause slips, trips, and falls, you can prevent accidents.

Here are some tips on how to do that:

  • Conduct regular facilities inspections to identify potential slip and fall hazards and correct hazards immediately.
  • Involve employees when possible; those involved in creating a safe work environment are more likely to think and behave safely.
  • Include employees, not just managers, on your safety committee.
  • At the end of each safety meeting, ask your employees for ideas on improving safety. Act on their suggestions, when appropriate, and recognize their contributions.