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Slips, trips and falls account for 20% of workplace injuries

October 24, 2023  By Don Horne

Employers and workers are being urged to manage the prevalent risk of slips, trips, and falls in the workplace.

Each year, approximately 20 per cent of workplace injuries are related to slips, trips, and falls. In the past six years, almost 41,000 workers in B.C. suffered slip-trip-and-fall injuries, including fractures, sprains, and dislocations.

Slips, trips, and falls are the costliest workplace incidents and some of the biggest causes of general productivity loss. On average, slip-trip-and-fall injuries cost B.C. businesses 440,000 lost workdays and more than $148 million in claim costs each year. Sectors most impacted include healthcare and social services, construction, the service sector, and manufacturing.

“Slips, trips, and falls can lead to debilitating injuries that impact both workers and businesses alike,” says Barry Nakahara, Senior Manager, Prevention Field Services at WorkSafeBC. “The good news is the majority of slip-trip-and-fall incidents are preventable — and the basic precautions are easy and cost-effective.”

The simplest way of preventing injuries from slips, trips, and falls in the workplace is to develop and implement a risk management plan that uses the established hierarchy of controls to identify and assess controls, and to monitor safety hazards and risks.

Some examples are:

  • Install electrical wires, cords, and hoses where they won’t create tripping hazards.
  • Install covers, drip pans, containers, or containment rooms to prevent the release of contaminants from equipment to the floor.
  • Make sure all tools, equipment, and materials are stored in their designated locations.
  • Determine the right type of footwear for workers to wear based on the slip and trip hazards in the workplace.

WorkSafeBC encourages employers to engage their workers and joint health and safety committees early in the process.

It is important to note that during the winter months, icy and wet conditions contribute to an 11 per cent increase in injuries due to slips, trips, and falls. Nakahara notes that changing workplace conditions — including changes in weather — mean that risk assessments must be revisited on a regular basis.


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