Slips, Trips and Falls

Everyone knows that it can be very embarrassing to slip, trip or fall over but did you know that it is also one of the most common causes of injury?

Injuries from slips, trips or falls can occur at any time; however we see more incidents occurring during times of wet weather.  Other common causes include poorly maintained or slippery floor surfaces, neglected housekeeping, materials placed in passageways, inappropriate footwear, obstructed views, and dimly lit stairwells.

We often fail to recognize the serious consequences that a seemingly minor tumble can result in, but injuries can range from minor cuts and bruising to dislocated limbs or even brain damage. Considering that a serious injury could be sustained from a slip, trip or fall, it is important for all church organisations to inspect and maintain their premises to prevent these types of accidents.

There are a number of ways you can do this including:
– Adjust practices that cause floor spills and make sure that spills are cleaned immediately
– Provide ample drainage
– Remove tripping hazards and ensure hallways remain clear
– Encourage workers and volunteers to wear slip resistant footwear
– Clearly mark changes in floor heights and stairwell edges
– Provide adequate lighting and signage

We’d like to encourage all church organisations to set aside some time to walk around your property/s to identify any potential slip, trip and fall hazards and then develop a plan to fix any issues that you find.  It might just save you or someone else an injury or at the very least save some embarrassment!  Safe Work Australia has developed a useful Preventing Slips and Trips at Work checklist which, while Workplace focused, can be used to highlight and identify hazards at all types of sites including churches and schools.

And please don’t forget that you can talk to us about anything you find – we may have some information or advice to help you fix a problem.