November is Fall Prevention Month!

In 2022, 1 in 4 workplace injuries in Saskatchewan were caused by falls. November is Fall Prevention Month, and Service Hospitality wants to help you raise awareness and educate workers about preventing falls, whether your team is working at dizzying heights or just navigating the office terrain.

Not all falls are created equal. According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, 67% of falls happen because of slips and trips, while the other 30% of falls are from heights. It’s important to know the differences when making your workplace fall-proof.

Slips happen when there’s not enough grip between your shoes and the floor, such as wet or oily surfaces, spills, or rugs that won’t stay put.

Trips happen when your foot meets an unexpected obstacle, causing you to lose balance. Blame hazards like poor lighting, clutter, or a pesky loose cable lying across a walkway.  

Falls are a result of any work being completed from three meters or higher. This includes everything from changing a lightbulb on a ladder to fixing an air conditioning unit on the roof.

What are employers’ duties when it comes to fall prevention?

Even if your workplace doesn’t require a formal fall protection policy, all employers have a general duty to ensure the safety of all workers – whether it’s from rooftops, ladders, or slippery floors!  To keep falls from happening, common safety measures include workplace inspections, risk assessments, and putting controls in place, such as wet floor signs, sanding icy parking lots, handrails, barriers, and safety nets. If a worker could fall from three meters or higher, fall protection and a policy is required.

What actions do you take if someone falls in the workplace?

Prevention is the best protection, but we still need to be prepared for the “what if.” If a worker experiences a fall, first ensure the hazard that caused the fall is dealt with immediately so no one else is hurt. Alert the supervisor and make sure the worker receives first aid/medical attention if needed. If the worker receives medical attention, be sure the care provider lists any medical restrictions, so you can accommodate the worker safely. Let your OH&S committee know about the incident so they can look into other possible hazard control solutions too!

Service Hospitality Can Help!

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