While there are no formal training requirements for preventing slips, trips, and falls, there are several daily habits we can practice to avoid them occurring at the workplace or home. These include:

  • Focus on the task of walking and be aware of your surroundings, checking for stairways, curbs, wet, waxed, or polished surfaces, loose carpeting, or changes in surface conditions
  • Practice safe walking, taking shorter steps on slippery surfaces, and keeping your point of balance under you
  • Wear appropriate footwear for the conditions
  • Avoid distractions by pocketing any mobile devices
  • Use handrails on stairways and steep walkways
  • Clean up or report right away (even minor can be hazardous)
  • Use ladders or stepladders properly, ensuring they are set up properly before use
  • Keep your workplace and home clean and tidy, storing materials and supplies in appropriate storage areas

Recent safety incidents in the Physical Sciences Area highlight the need to be particularly vigilant when walking or working around steps and stairs. For instance:

  1. On January 23, 2023, a person was descending stairs on the 6th floor of Bldg. 50. The person was carrying a coffee mug in one hand and holding onto the rail with the other hand. The steps varied in height, causing the person to trip and fall, resulting in an ankle sprain and arm injury.
  2. On March 13, 2023, a person was ascending the steps at the entry of Bldg. 70A. Their trailing foot caught the edge of the top step, causing them to fall forward. The fall led to their shoulder impacting a glass door, which broke. Although there was no injury, had they fallen differently it could have resulted in serious injuries.