Falling safely at work. Practice it. Yes, practice breaking your fall on the job. You can reduce injuries when you really have slips, trips or falls.
Sounds odd, doesn’t it? Listen as Dan Clark advises workers to actually develop a technique for falling safely. Dan gives tips on how to fall forward and backward.
Also, hear information on how to avoid slips, trips and falls in the workplace with good planning, regular housekeeping, the right shoes and more.
Scroll down for video demonstrations on falling forward, backward, and to the side.
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Dan Clark: Falling safely. You know, breaking your fall. It’s not just for gymnasts and skydivers.
Hi there, I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief. This is where we talk about health and safety hazards in today’s demanding industrial and construction worksites.
A sudden gust of gravity, and BOOM. Slips, trips and falls cause many injuries in the workplace. We can’t eliminate all of those nosedives, but workers can learn how to fall, how to lessen the impact.
This may sound bizarre, but try to practice falling, especially if slips, trips and falls are common where you work. In the moment, it can be difficult to implement tips if you haven’t practiced them. Beware—your instincts may lead to more severe injuries during the fall, so try to do the following:
- Relax. Yeah, sure. That’s easier said than done. But when your muscles tense up, the risk of injury increases.
- Exhale. It helps you relax.
- Don’t try to fully catch yourself. When you reach out with your arms to break your fall, you could end up with a broken wrist.
- Don’t lock your joints. Try to bend them. If you can bend your knees and hips so you lower yourself to the ground.
WHEN FALLING BACKWARD:
1. Round your back so you can more easily roll.
2. Tuck your chin.
3. Put your hand behind your head to protect it. An injured hand is better than a cracked head.
WHEN FALLING FORWARD:
1. Keep your head up.
2. Try slapping the ground with your palms to slow the fall a bit, but don’t try to catch your full weight with your hands.
What can workplaces do to prevent these plummets, plunges and wipeouts in the first place?
* Use sand or salt on outdoor icy spots, but beware—salt ruins concrete.
* Install traction tape on slippery areas.
* Clean up spills quickly.
* Have clearly defined housekeeping for the floors.
* Encourage the use of shoes or boots with the right treads.
* Put up signs in notoriously slippery areas.
* Install handrails on stairs.
You may not eliminate all missteps, flops and headers, but you can lessen their impact. I have links for how-to-fall videos [scroll down] in the text of this podcast at www.thesafetyBrief.com.
That’s it for this episode on Tips For Falling Safely. Come back for more ways to stay safety compliant in today’s ever-changing landscape of safety requirements. I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, a service of Creative Safety Supply. creativesafetysupply.com
Demonstration videos by Texas Women’s University.