Distraction, stairs and a fall

ladder fall picIt’s one thing to know that slips, trips and falls are of the most common causes of on-the-job injuries. It’s another thing, however, to always practice those things that are most likely to prevent a slip, trip or fall.

Over the years, I’ve learned to use hand rails. I’ve even learned to slow down on stairs and other walking surfaces. But I haven’t yet perfected the practice of eliminating distractions that can lead to a spill, as evidenced by my tumble down the work stairs the other day. Lucky for me, I ended up with only a skinned knee and leftover lunch flung through our stairwell. Unfortunately, in my attempt to not spill my open container of lunch leftovers I actually created the distraction that caused me to miss a step and thus tumble over many more.

I am happy that I don’t have a video to share with you. But it is a good reminder for all of us, all of the time – it just takes a second or less to lose our footing no matter what we are doing: Going down the stairs, walking on uneven concrete, or working on the side of a building, a ladder or scaffold.

  • Slips, trips and falls make up a majority of general industry accidents.
  • These events cause some of the most frequently-reported injuries making up almost 25% of all reported claims and with over 17% of all disabling occupational injuries resulting from falls.
  • Most (like mine) could have been prevented.

So here’s another reminder to tuck away in your tool box of lessons learned. And maybe to help it stick in your brain, just imagine me tumbling head over heels – alone in a stairwell – with remnants of a taco salad decorating the walls and carpet.

OccHealthSci: Fall Protection in Construction
OccHealthSci: Falls in Manufacturing and General Industry


2 responses to “Distraction, stairs and a fall

Comments are closed.