Slip and Fall Prevention in the Transportation Industry
Employee and customer safety are always number one when it comes to just about any industry. The transportation industry is no different. Even though slip and fall accidents have been on the decline, it is imperative to continually review safety protocols and maintain your slip and fall prevention products to ensure they are still adequate. Identifying best practices in fall prevention and being able to spot specific locations that falls commonly occur can significantly help when it comes to stopping future accidents from happening. At Jessup Manufacturing, we are looking at air, truck, sea, and rail travel to show how you can take action in slip and fall prevention.
We have done several blog posts regarding slip and fall safety while on the sea, highlighting cruise and naval ships. It is one of the toughest sectors of the transportation industry to prevent slips and falls because of the constant water and motion these boats incur. However, the amount of people hitting the seas is growing at a rapid pace. The Cruise Line International Association states that cruise lines alone employed over 1,021,681 full-time employees in 2016 and this doesn’t even factor in other sea women and men, plus those paying to be on the ships for leisure purposes. It is worth continually revisiting to discuss best practices for slip and fall prevention. The top tips that Jessup offers those working on or visiting boats or barge decks include:
- Always wear footwear that has traction when you will be on docks or boats.
- Military Grade non-slip tapes are heavy duty and can withstand the elements the ocean brings aboard. Consider putting non-slip tapes and treads on ramps, the ship deck, dining quarters, bathrooms, and any other areas onboard of concern.
- Stairs should always be treated with non-slip stair treads (consider the grade depending on if being used inside or outside the ship) and handrails secured.
- Keep the boat clean and tidy. Mop up wet areas and put proper signage down immediately to warn people. Remove clutter, cords, or any potential tripping hazards throughout the boat.
Understanding and implementing fall prevention tactics for the trucking industry has been on the rise. The Infrastructure Health and Safety Association states that over five years, slips and falls were the cause of nearly 50 percent of all critical injuries in the trucking industry. In large part, this is due to the surfaces that workers have to walk on, including the ramps and planks, dock boards and plates, platforms, and running boards. The metal they are made of can become extremely slippery, especially when paired with poor weather conditions or oil and grease. A few best practices that can easily be implemented include:
- Slip-resistant shoes—requiring employees to wear shoes that have not only good support, but offer friction, can significantly decrease the risk of a slip and fall accident.
- Make sure guard rails are securely in place through the truck and that employees are trained to use them.
- Train (and re-train) on proper ways to enter and exit the cab, remove materials, and operate the vehicle, including the 3-point contact rule.
- Add (or update) your non-slip stair treads on any stairs. Trailer ladders and steps to the cab are common areas for slip and fall accidents because employees are often tired after a long day or have tired legs after sitting for long periods.
- Applying anti-slip adhesive or grit tape in places where employees have to load and unload materials including ramps and docks is an inexpensive option and will provide durability and longevity. Jessup’s Safety Track® 3700 Conformable tapes and treads conform to irregular surfaces like radius corners, bends, ladder stairs, and diamond tape.
Every day, the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization (ATO) provides service to more than 43,000 flights and 2.6 million airline passengers across more than 29 million square miles of airspace. Air travel, whether it is for the public or private sector, work or play, employs thousands of people and transports even more of them throughout the year. Keeping airplanes and airports safe from slip and fall accidents is a top priority, and with proper fall prevention tips implemented, you can significantly minimize the risk
- First, make sure you have clear procedures in place and communication with your employees and colleagues when it comes to airplane operations.
- Aircraft doors pose a higher risk than most areas of the plane for a trip, slip, or fall. As a traveler, be sure to pay attention and put your phone down or pause your conversation to concentrate on entering or exiting the aircraft. Aircraft crew is specially trained on the opening and closing of these doors on planes that are manufactured with the safety mechanisms. Additional fall prevention measures could be taken by airport and aircraft personnel, such as adding non-slip adhesives or signage before entering or exiting.
- The cargo bay is a busy area where slip and fall accidents can frequently happen even with proper safety training. Implementing non-slip tapes or treads that can withstand snow, rain and heavy foot traffic is a smart idea, as well as ensuring any areas with holes are covered or marked off.
- Access steps can be hazardous for travelers who aren’t paying attention, are elderly, or those who are merely carrying heavy bags. Make sure handrails are securely in place, and stair treads are updated and not worn. Additional signage and having employees remind guests to watch their step can provide important fall prevention.
- Jetways are generally owned and operated by the airport itself, and although not part of the plane, still pose a great slip and fall risk. From worn down carpet that can quickly turn slippery, to guests hurrying to make their connecting flight, or crew members rushing to get onto their plane, the jetway can become a slippery place. All too often, the handrails are not us, and people are not paying attention. Consider adding non-slip adhesives and adding additional signage on both ends to remind people to watch their step.
Authorities like OSHA and the Air Traffic Organization (ATO), Fall Protection Program, work to prevent slip and fall accidents in the air transportation workplaces by developing employee awareness and training related to workplace hazards. The Federal Aviation Administration, as well as other regulating authorities, have many standards put in place for fall prevention. However, it is crucial as a traveler or crew member you always pay attention and do your part to keep yourself safe while flying.
Trains for both passengers and freight pose an interesting challenge when it comes to fall prevention. From being quick moving to offering high heights for workers or unsteady flooring for passengers, ensuring fall prevention methods are in place is extremely important. Commuter trains always post an interesting challenge because passengers, especially first-time train passengers, are not always aware of their surroundings. It is important to alert them and implement fall prevention measures strategically around the train to help protect them.
- For workers, it is always wise to follow OSHA’s guideline 1926.501(b) (15) which states, “each employee on a walking/working surface 6 feet (1.8m) or more above lower levels shall be protected from falling by a guardrail system, safety net system, or personal fall arrest system.”
- The addition of commercial grade non-slip tape could be used in areas that employees are frequently walking around, especially those 6 feet or higher, to enforce additional fall prevention
- Add Egress Path Marking tape to handrails, stair treads, and landings to provide photoluminescent guidance in low-light situations.
- Stairs and ladders should have anti-slip stair treads in place.
- Bathroom and dining quarters throughout rail cars should utilize bright lighting, handrails, and non-slip adhesives on the flooring.
- Make sure all employees are adequately trained and retrained regularly for fall protection. Fall Protection Training Requirements (Standard 1926.503) is one of the top ten most commonly cited OSHA violations. Employees who might be exposed to fall hazards are adequately trained and able to recognize the dangers of falling and how to minimize their risks. You also need to verify compliance with Fall Protection Standards via written certification of your employees’ training.
Depending on the type of travel, slip and fall prevention can be simply wearing shoes that offer friction or could mean implementing a commercial grade non-slip tape that withstands the conditions of saltwater and ultraviolet exposure, such as Jessup Safety Track 3800 series. Slips, trips, and falls are consistently the number one cause of injuries for the transportation industry, so it is essential to have a fall prevention system in place and understand the specific risks associated with your type of transportation for a slip and fall. If you have additional questions or need recommendations on how to prevent slip and fall accidents within the transportation industry, please reach out to a Jessup Manufacturing representative today.
For other informative blogs on this topic, check out the following articles: