Southeast Staff SAFETY

Slips, Trips, and Falls

(Office safety video from BASF.)

Strains and Sprains Prevention

All safety information and data BELOW provided by:


Ladders – Tips for Safe Usage

Ladder accidents happen when the wrong ladder is selected for the job, when
it is not inspected before use, or when the operator is careless.

Potential Hazards

• Poor condition of the ladder

• Improper selection

• Improper use

• Substituting other objects, such as chairs, boxes or pails for ladders

Identifying Hazards

• Inspect each ladder before use. Check for the following:
o Steps and rungs are all in place, intact, and free from grease or oil

o Support braces, bolts, and screws are tight and in place

o Metal parts are lubricated

o Rope is not worn or frayed

o Locking device or spreaders are in place

o Safety feet are in place

o Metal ladders are not dented or bent

• If the ladder has any defects, tag it out and remove it from service

Ladder Selection

• Select the ladder to be used based on the type of work that will be done

• Review weight limits — remember, they include you and any equipment you
will carry
o I-A (heavy duty) holds 300 pounds

o I (heavy duty) holds 250 pounds

o II (medium duty) holds 225 pounds

o III (light) holds 200 pounds (generally not used on the job,
only for home use)

• Review maximum ladder length limits
o Stepladder: 20 feet high

o One-section ladder: 30 feet high

o Extension ladder: 60 feet high with section overlap

Sprain and Strain Prevention – Proper Lifting Technique

• Squat down to lift the load and pull it between your legs, ensuring you
are as close to the load as possible.

–– The further the load is from the center line of your body, the greater
the strain imposed on your back.

• Avoid picking up heavy objects that are below knee-level.

–– Store heavy objects between knee and chest level.

• If you suspect a load is too heavy to be lifted correctly and with ease,
do not attempt to lift it.

–– Use a mechanical aid or break the load down into its component parts.

• Keep the natural arch in your lower back, which distributes the load evenly
over the surface of spinal disks.

–– Keep your natural spine posture by bending at the hips and knees.

–– Avoid bending at the waist.

• Tighten your stomach muscles, which helps prevent your spine from
twisting, and utilizes your stomach and lateral muscles to create hydraulic
support in your abdomen.

• Stretch before doing physical work.

–– Stretching can sufficiently warm up cold and stiff muscles, reducing the
risk of injury.

• Apply lifting force slowly.

• Put one knee against the load while in a squatting position.

• Visually check your intended route to ensure that there are no obstacles.

• Carry the load with your back in an upright position.

Tips for Safe Reaching

• Don’t overstretch. Reach only as high as is comfortable.

• Before lifting/lowering an object, pull it close to your body.

• When reaching forward, move your whole body not just your arms.

• Use a step-stool or ladder if necessary, but stay balanced, inside of the


• When reaching down, support your body with your free arm.

• Avoid straining to reach across a work table/bench; walk over to the load


• Keep loads within arms’ reach, if possible.

Tips for Safe Bending

• Maintain natural spine curvature/posture.

• Bend at the hips and knees — not at the waist.

• Always bend slowly to allow your muscles to adjust to the task.

• Use the whole palm of your hand(s) when gripping objects. • Stretch and perform counteractive exercises to de-stress muscles.

Slips, Trips, and Falls Prevention

Over 12,000 people are killed each year from falls — approximately 1,200 of them occur at work. Falls are the most common cause of accidental deaths in the home.

Primary Causes of Falls

• A foreign object on the walking surface.

• Design planning and layout flaws in the walking surface.

• Slippery walking surfaces, particularly in doorway thresholds.

• Individual moving too fast for the surface.

• Individual using improper shoes for the walking surface.

Identifying Hazards

Prevent slips, trips, and falls by looking for the following:

• Stair steps that are slippery, worn or broken.

• Stairway railings that are missing or loose.

• Lighting that is very dim or nonexistent.

• Good maintenance of non-slip surfaces on loading ramps.

• Ladders with loose or broken rungs should be removed from service.

Protection Against Slips, Trips, or Falls

• Be alert — watch where you are going.

• Check the conditions of the floors, stairs, ladders and work area — report any
defects to your supervisor immediately.

• Look for elevation changes (manholes, drains, uneven pavement).

• Remove clutter and drop cords from walkways.

• Place signs out when a floor area is slippery.

• Clean up all spills when they happen — do not wait!

• Conduct a good housekeeping walk-through on a daily basis.

• Keep drawers closed.

• Walk — do not run!

• Carry only loads you can see over.

• Use the hand railing when climbing up or down the stairs.

  • Wear appropriate footwear (shoes, boots, etc.).
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