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Based on: 29 CFR 1910.22 (1996): Occupational Safety and Health Standards

Languages: English

Sample Transcript

Slips and Trips are the two leading causes of falls. These events can be defined as follows. Slips occur when there is too little friction or traction between your footwear and a walking surface resulting in an unintentional slide. Trips occur when your foot or lower leg collides with an object, or incorrectly adjusts to a step downward causing you to stumble or fall. Falls occur when a slip, trip, or other event causes you to lose your balance and rapidly descend.

Floor and Walkway Safety and Auditing

Training Time: 40 minutes

Slips, trips, and falls (or STFs) are a leading cause of work-related injuries, including sprains, strains, fractures, contusions, and abrasions. STFs also account for 15 percent of all accidental deaths; second only to motorized vehicles as a cause of workplace fatalities. STFs also account for ~15% of workplace fatalities, second only to those related to motorized vehicles. While STFs can occur on level surfaces and at elevated heights, this module focuses only on STFs which occur on level surfaces.

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Training Content + Interactive Quizzes
Wet or oily walking surfaces are a common cause of slips at workplaces

Wet or oily walking surfaces are a common cause of slips at workplaces.

Clutter, debris, cords, and hoses are a common cause of trips at workplaces

Clutter, debris, cords, and hoses are a common cause of trips at workplaces.

A pendulum slip resistance tester drags a standardized rubber "foot" over a hard surface

A pendulum slip resistance tester drags a standardized rubber "foot" over a hard surface.

Learning Objectives

  • Define "slips," "trips," and "falls"
  • Identify common causes and contributing factors for slips and trips
  • Describe the difference between static coefficient of friction (SCOF) and dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) values
  • Describe U.S. regulations for walking surfaces at worksites
  • Describe the operations of common slip resistance test devices, including a pendulum tester, tribometer, variable-angle ramp, and variable incidence tribometer
  • Describe the five "5S" housekeeping strategies
  • Describe safety guidelines related to floor surface repairs, maintenance, and cleaning; footwear; building entrances; leaks and drips; spill response; worker training; and the use of signs, barricades, and lighting
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Floor and Walkway Safety and Auditing FAQs

What is the difference between a slip and a trip?
A slip is an unintentional slide caused by inadequate friction or traction, while a trip is a stumble or fall caused by a collision or incorrect step downward. Both can cause falls.

Is floor and walkway safety required by law?
Many governments, including the U.S., have laws and regulations related to floor and walkway safety at workplaces.

What is the difference between static coefficient of friction (SCOF) and dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF)?
SCOF is related to the force required to cause a still object to begin sliding, while DCOF is related to the force required to keep an object that is already in motion sliding.

How can I assess the slip resistance of floors and walkways at my workplace?
Several different devices are available to measure the dynamic coefficient of friction, which is the preferred measurement because it better simulates pedestrian use.

What should follow a workplace floor and walkway audit or inspection?
Floor and walkway audits and inspections must be followed up by traction improvements, repairs, and regular maintenance, in order to fully realize the potential safety benefits.

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