Staff Ed: Avoiding Slips, Trips, and Falls

Avoiding Slips, Trips, and Falls for Healthcare Workers

Common hazards like water spills and burned-out light bulbs can lead to serious, painful injuries-and could also limit your ability to respond to emergencies. Protect yourself, your coworkers, and your patients by doing what you can to create a hazard-free workplace.

Clean up wet surfaces

Anytime you see (or cause) a spill, clean it up right away. If you can't, mark it with a sign or paper towels and report it to the appropriate person for cleanup.

Keep your area clutter-free and well-lit

Every piece of equipment left out or file drawer left open is a hazard that can trip you up, particularly when it's dark:

  • Clean up clutter, especially in front of doors, in hallways, and on stairs.
  • Don't leave wheelchairs, cleaning supplies, handcarts, and other materials lying around.
  • Turn on lights before entering a room or supply closet.
  • Report burned-out light bulbs to maintenance promptly.
  • Close file drawers before you walk away from them.

Avoid shortcuts

Taking a shortcut to save time can be risky. The more shortcuts you take, the greater your chance for taking a tumble:

  • Find a ladder or a step stool when something's out of easy reach, instead of using an object not meant for climbing.
  • Never carry a load that you can't see over. If necessary, make more than one trip, use supply carts, or ask for assistance.
  • Use only designated walkways.