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Environmental Health, Safety, and Risk Management

Slip and Fall Prevention

It may come as a surprise that falls are the most common type of a work place injury. Almost all falls can be prevented by learning how to recognize and correct typical fall hazards in the working environment.

Common Fall Hazards
Some of the most common causes of office falls are tripping over an open desk drawer, bending while seated in an unstable chair, and tripping over electrical cords or wires. Office falls are frequently caused by using makeshift "ladders", such as a chair or stack of boxes and by slipping on wet floors. Loose carpeting, objects, stored in halls or walkways, and inadequate lighting are other hazards that invite accidental falls. Fortunately, all of these fall hazards are preventable.

Causes of Falls

  • Foreign object on the walking surface
  • A design flaw in the walking surface
  • Slippery surfaces
  • An individual's impaired physical condition

Prevention Tips

  • Spills or leaks on floors, stairs, and entranceways need to be are cleaned up right away.
  • Stairwells should be well-lighted, with sturdy handrails.
  • Adequate lighting to ensure proper vision is also important in the prevention of slips and falls.
  • Slip-Resistant Materials or coatings can be applied to concrete, metal and wood surfaces.
  • Safety signs to remind people of slip, trip and fall hazards.
  • Cords, power cables, air hoses, etc., are kept out of walkways.
  • Use a ladder, not a box or chair to reach high places.
  • The most important protection is to wear the proper footwear for your work environment.


Slips, Trips and Falls handout