CONN-OSHA QuarterlyVolume No.71
- Slips, Trips & Falls
- Changes and Add Staff
- Hazard Corner …
- Training Update ...
Slips, Trips & Falls
Statistically speaking, more people die of falls at work and at
home each year than from any other non vehicle related cause.
Over 13,000 deaths are the result of a fall each year, and 70%
of these are due to a lack of ordinary or reasonable
maintenance. More than 256,000 non-fatal slip, trip & fall
injuries result in one or more lost workdays per incident.
Falling to a different level and stairs are the most common
category of event.
Prior to the slip, trip or fall, we must first look at the
“simple” act of walking, a semi-automatic response, more habit
than thought, and the activity most people are engaged in prior
to the slip, trip or fall. Walking comprises 3 components:
stride (length of step), gait (tempo or rhythm), and speed
(amount of force). All 3 of these components impact the
likelihood and seriousness of a slip, trip or fall.
Now let’s look at slips, trips and falls.
Slips: Occur when there is too little friction between an
individual’s feet and the walking surface.
Trips: Occur when the forward/backward movement of the foot is
interrupted, causing a loss of balance.
Falls: Occur when an individual loses their center of gravity or
The risk factors involved with walking that affect a person’s
chances of a negative event include but are not limited to
vision, light, color, age, balance, and footwear.
Note: It should be noted that we are making the assumption
that the person is paying attention to what they are doing.
Distracted walking is not the subject of this article.
We typically scan about 10-20 feet ahead to identify changes or
deformities in the walking surface, and our visual sharpness
diminishes with age. Adequate lighting is required and the need
for additional ambient light increases with age.
Color contrasts should be used to mark changes in walking
surfaces, and remember that lighting affects color
differentiation. A person’s balance is affected by arm function
and freedom of movement, therefore carrying items will affect a
person’s balance and possibly their vision.
Personal characteristics an employer may not be able to control
that will affect a person’s balance include inner ear
conditions, medications, and visual acuity or other vision
Footwear is an item an employer can control that can affect
slip resistance and balance. Consider sole material and
configuration, heel size and height when developing a footwear
policy. “Reasonable” footwear for work conditions is a policy
that employers should consistently enforce to control and
reduce workplace injuries and fatalities.
Employees should be directed to constantly evaluate, recognize
and report work environments for slip, trip and fall hazards.
This would include but not be limited to:
Slippery or wet floors
Uneven floor surfaces
Cluttered or obstructed work areas/passageways
Poorly maintained walkways
Unguarded floor openings and holes
Damaged or inadequate stairs and/or stairways and rails
Elevated work surfaces which do not have standard guardrails
Improper use of ladders and/or stepstools
Education and training
should be ongoing, and discussion among employees
should be encouraged concerning risks and hazards in
work areas, including gathering information about near
miss incidents as leading indicators about potential
future serious incidents. All slip, trip and fall events
thoroughly investigated with goals for improvements
established. In summary, slip, trip and fall events can
reduced by ensuring that all staff are aware that slips,
trips and falls are the number one type of employee
and that all employees have some type of active
involvement in inspection activity concerning this
When unsafe conditions are reported, the employer should
make corrective actions a priority. Maintenance of
walking/working surfaces is everybody’s responsibility;
implement a quick and easy way to report changes in
conditions. Make slips, trips and falls an item on the
Safety Committee’s training agenda, and ensure all
are properly investigated. Finally, document a written
trip, slip and fall reduction
goal such as:
“To reduce the number and severity of injuries due to
slips, trips and falls by improving conditions inside
outside the facility and improving employee exposure
awareness for the safety, health and well-being of all
Reminder *** OSHA 300A Summary of Work Related
Injury and Illnesses
Employers who are required to keep the Injury and Illness log,
must post Form 300A, the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and
Illnesses, in a workplace every year from February 1 to April
Palmer was appointed as Connecticut Department of Labors
(CTDOL) Commissioner in August 2012 and began work on October 5.
A “firm believer in the value of education and life-long
learning”, Commissioner Palmer earned her bachelor’s degree
from St. Joseph University; her master’s degree from Eastern
Connecticut State University; and has been named a Fellow with
the Connecticut Education Fellowship Program. A resident of
Quaker Hill, she is the immediate past president of the American
Federation of Teachers (AFT) and a strong advocate for
Connecticut's working men and women. Commissioner Palmer
pledges to continue to move the CTDOL forward in its mission to
protect the rights of working people, as well as to strengthen
the services this agency provides to employers.
Also in August 2012, Gwendolyn Bernard joined the CONN-OSHA
family. Working as a Clerk Typist, Gwen works closely with the
Occupational Health Grant participants.
Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries
2011 Fatal Work-Related Injuries Connecticut &
Event or Exposure
Violence by persons or animals
HomicidesSuicidesAnimal and insect
4 7 --
458 242 37
vehicular incidentRoadway incident Non roadway
5 7 --
312 1,075 216
Fire or explosion
Fall, slip, trip
Exposure to substances or environments
Contact with objects and equipment
Data for 2011 are preliminary. Totals for major
categories may include subcategories not shown
separately. Source: U.S. Department of Labor,
Bureau of Labor Statistics
In 2011, thirty-six employees lost their lives to
work-related incidents in Connecticut. This was down
from 2010’s total of 49 deaths. Nationally, 4,609
employees lost their lives at work in 2011. This
preliminary total represents 3.5 deaths per 100,000
full-time equivalent (FTE) workers. While rates are not
yet publishable on the State level, Connecticut’s rate
has historically been lower than the national rate.
Connecticut, 35 of the deaths were men and 9 were
self-employed. Twenty-eight percent occurred in the 35
to 44 year old age category. Eighty-three percent
occurred in the private sector. This table shows number
of deaths by event. Totals for major categories include
subcategories not shown separately. Thirty-six percent
of Connecticut’s deaths were due to transportation
incidents and another 33 percent to violent acts.
Violent acts include homicides, suicides, incidents of
unknown intent, and animal assaults. National
transportation incidents include air, rail, water,
animal, and non-motorized transportation incidents. In
the fire or explosion category, 62 deaths were due to
fires and 81 due to explosions in the United States.
Exposure to harmful substances or environments include
electrocutions, exposure to temperature extremes, and
oxygen deficiency. Contact with objects and equipment
includes workers being struck by falling objects,
trenching cave-ins, and being caught in machinery or
Changes in Census
Since 1992, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of
Labor Statistics has recorded work-related death data
through the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries
program (CFIO). A recent change in this data collection
system captures information on a more detailed level. An
example is falls; this was always an event category but
it now captures no only the fall but the height of the
fall. Also new is a coding structure for nature, part of
body, event and source You may view the full press
release at http://www.bls.gov/iif/
“Mirror Check” -
Preventing Vehicle Backover Injuries
CONN-OSHA & OSHA Region I
In 2012, eight New
England workers died due to being “backed over” and
three other people were killed while
working on or near vehicles. This type of death is
completely preventable. CONN-OSHA and OSHA Region I
are hosting “Mirror Check” to increase awareness of this
Mirror Check is a self audit exercise that will be held
on March 19, 2013, beginning at 7 a.m. and ending at
a.m. CONN-OSHA and OSHA Region I are asking our
Alliances, Partners, VPP’s, State Plans, Sharp sites and
other groups to participate in “Mirror Check.”
All industries, facilities and employees are exposed to
backover hazards whether you work in construction,
manufacturing, retail, healthcare, or education. The
work environment is not the only place that backover
occur. All individuals exposed to motor vehicles must be
trained in recognizing the hazards associated with them.
Mission Description: Each participating company will
train their employees on hazards of motor vehicles and
other mobile equipment. The company will also conduct an
inspection of its facility or location. Cars, pickups,
dump trucks, delivery vehicles, 18-wheelers, fork trucks
and heavy construction equipment should be included in
Participating organizations will document the this
exercise. Participating organizations will document
the training and the inspections via their own internal
sheets. You are asked to complete a course
evaluation by 10:30 a.m. at the following address:
the totals for your site and have one course evaluation
completed per site.
Information Provided: A standard training PowerPoint,
Fact Sheets, Checklist and Quick Cards have been
electronically and are posted on the
www.csr-em.org homepage and on their Facebook page.
The material(s) provided are recommended but are not required to be
used. In addition, links to other educational and
training sites will be attached along with inspection
tips. The supporting documents also can be found on the
CONN-OSHA web site under Alerts.
In March of 2012, a Connecticut Department of Transportation
(DOT) road maintenance crew employee was struck and killed by a
truck on Route 8 North in Waterbury, Ct. The employee was in the
right breakdown lane of the highway picking up road debris,
when the 18 wheeler swerved and struck him. The employee was
caught between his vehicle and the
tires of the 18 wheeler.
The State Police charged the truck driver with:
Failing to drive in the proper lane
Making a false statement to police
Interfering with an officer
Misconduct with a motor vehicle and
Two hours of service violations (mandatory rest period)
The employee was in the breakdown lane of the highway, the truck
strobe lights were on, and he was wearing the proper personal
protective equipment. He was also following the procedures set
forth by DOT on how to perform this type of operation safely.
The DOT provides their staff with the equipment, training and
education to work on the state’s streets and highways.
Unfortunately, the state cannot control the actions of other
To all roadway travelers, be aware of your environment and the
hazards that it may pose. Follow the appropriate safety
procedures and keep yourselves and others safe.
April 15-19, 2013 is the Connecticut and National Work Zone
Safety week. Let them work ~ Let them Live
CONN-OSHA QUARTERLY Training Update
Safe Driving –
Get There Safely EVERY Time March 6, 2013
from 10:00 a.m. to noon Work-related vehicle crashes are the
cause of occupational fatalities according to the U.S. Dept.
of Labor. The goal of this session is to increase awareness
of the need
for, and the benefits of safe driving.
OSHA Recordkeeping March 7, 2013 from 8:30 a.m. to noon
this workshop, you will learn how to fill out the OSHA 300
Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses accurately and
Work Zone Safety April 10, 2013, from 10:00 a.m. to noon
Basic guidelines for work zone traffic control and the
Part VI of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)
with particular emphasis on short term work sites on roads
streets in rural and small urban areas will be presented.
Trenching & Excavation May 1, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to noon
This workshop will provide an overview of 29 CFR
excavations, including the role of the competent person. The
session is designed to assist participants in identifying
with excavations and related activities.
Confined Space Safety May 15, 2013 from10:00 a.m. to noon
This workshop discusses the basic requirements and
involved with permit-required confined spaces as detailed in
29 CFR 1910.146.
discussion group meets the third Tuesday of every month from
8:15 am to 9:45 am. Pre-registration is required. To be
placed on the e-mail distribution list, contact John Able at
free and held at 200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT
in Conference Room A/B. To register, contact John Able at
or Catherine Zinsser at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Pre-registration is
required. A Photo I.D. is required to allow entry into a
public building. For more training information, visit the
CONN-OSHA web site
the Quarterly electronically, contact
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You may also reach us by phone at (860) 263-6900 or visit
our website at http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/osha/osha.htm
Department of Labor - OSHA
38 Wolcott Hill Road
Wethersfield, CT 06109
March 01, 2017