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What Is A “Slip” Hazard

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When you slip, it simply means that you lost your balance because there was too little friction between your feet and the surface on which you were walking or working. The most common causes of slips are wet or oily surfaces, spilled liquids, weather events like rain, sleet, ice or snow, loose, unanchored mats or rugs, and different types of flooring that do not offer the same kind of traction in all areas. If on top of a slippery surface you are in a hurry or not concentrating on where you are walking or even wearing the wrong kind of shoes, a slip is almost inevitable.

Why is preventing slips important?

There are many reasons why anyone would want to avoid a slip. Not only are they an important cause of broken limbs and other situations that affect your health and wellbeing, but they may also prevent you from being able to go back to work sometimes for a few days and others permanently.

Can something be done to prevent slips?

In a household setting, keeping everything clean and in its place is a good starting point if you want to avoid spills. It is also important to:

  • Clean any liquid that spills as soon as it happens
  • Alerting people to any wet areas
  • Always keeping walkways and hallways free of clutter
  • Securing cables that cross walkways
  • Having the right amount of lighting
  • Securing rugs and mats to the floor or eliminating them altogether

In a work setting, the emphasis may be on getting employees more appropriate footwear, particularly in construction zones where the condition of the walking surfaces may change from one minute to the other.

What are the most common slip hazards?

There are a number of situations that increase the possibility of slipping. Here is a list of some of them:

  • Wet floors
  • Greasy or oily floors
  • Floors covered with sawdust or other powders
  • Freshly waxed or polished floors
  • Sloped walking surfaces
  • Clutter
  • Wet leaves
  • Pine needles
  • Wet metal surfaces

Wearing The Right Shoes

It is important to note, however, that shoes are also responsible for many slips, even when the floor or its condition is not to blame. As a matter of fact, shoes play such an important role in slips, that wearing proper shoes can be equated to wearing the right Personal Protective Equipment.

The material and slickness of the soles and the type of heels need to be carefully considered in order to avoid slips. This applies both to workplace conditions and to elderly people that can suffer tremendous consequences to their health and quality of life after a slip. If shoes have laces, it is important to make sure that they are always tied correctly and snugly.

Human Nature

This may be the most difficult item to control in order to prevent and avoid slips. As humans, everybody tends to let their guard down and get distracted by not only multiple activities but also by random thoughts that take people’s eyes off the road. Being in a hurry, running, and taking shortcuts, increase the chances of falling every time.

If you have slipped and been injured due to another’s negligence, getting legal help is just what you need. 1-800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service that can connect you to the lawyer you need right now.

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