18 Oct Don’t Fall Down on the Job
For many of us, fall is our favorite season of the year. For young people it’s a time when they’re back at school and love it or hate it, there’s a lot going on! If they are a young worker, this means balancing school, social life, extra-curricular activities and of course, their job.
It’s also a season when it gets rainy and temperatures can change overnight. With leaves on the ground, surfaces can be extra treacherous and if temperatures dip below zero as they invariably will, those surfaces can turn to ice.
In Canada, there are over 60,000 slip, trip and fall injuries in workplaces and of those, over 80% are triggered by slippery surfaces. These can be outdoor surfaces as described above as well as the kind that occur indoors. These can also include slippery floors due to spills, floors that have recently been mopped or work areas in which oil or oil like substances are sprayed and make floors and staircases hazardous. Of course workers fall and injure themselves for other reasons including uneven floors and materials and debris that have been left in areas where people walk.
And they result is much more than a bruised ego. Falls can cause serious fractures, traumatic brain injuries and even death.
While everyone who spends time in work environments need to be mindful of where they walk, young people preoccupied with mobile devices and other distractions are especially susceptible to falls.
While not as obvious a discussion topic as wearing a hard hat or ear protection, it is a topic worth discussing with your young worker.
Ask them about their workplaces. Are they messy environments? If they work in a kitchen, are there any areas that are slippery, say in front of a deep fryer? Has anyone injured themselves falling for any reason?
It is also a good time to talk about the importance of being mindful and focused on their jobs and what is going on around them. Tell them about the high number of injuries caused by slips, trips and falls and how they are easily avoidable. Simple things like holding on to rails when on staircases and not carrying so many boxes that they can’t see in front of them, will make a big difference. Of course, footwear that is treaded and grips the floor will also be a key asset.
This is one more area that your insight and support can make a big difference in your young worker’s workplace safety.