Fall on the same level (slips and trips)


Workers that load, unload and distribute construction materials may face hazards from fall on the same level (slips and trips).

Risk Description:

Slips and trips on construction jobsites frequently occur, leading to falls on the same level, which can result in injuries ranging from minor bruises to severe traumas such as fractures or head injuries. These falls generally occur on the same walking or working surface, not from a height.

Falls on the same level at construction sites primarily involve slips, where there is an unintentional loss of balance due to slippery surfaces, and trips, where a worker encounters an obstacle that interrupts the walking path. Both can cause direct impact injuries or secondary injuries when falling into or against objects and equipment.

Assessment Info:

When assessing the potential for falls on the same level (slips and trips) in construction, several key factors should be considered as part of the site safety planning process. These considerations help identify risks and implement appropriate preventive measures.

Here are some essential items to evaluate:

1. Condition of Walking Surfaces: Assess the materials and conditions of the surfaces where work is being performed. Look for potential slip hazards such as wet, oily, or uneven flooring, and check for trip hazards like loose cables, debris, or abrupt changes in floor level.

2. Foot Traffic and Workflow Patterns: Consider the areas that experience high foot traffic or frequent movement of equipment. High-traffic areas are more prone to wear and tear on surfaces, which can increase slip and trip risks.

3. Weather and Environmental Conditions: Account for the impact of weather conditions on outdoor work areas. Rain, snow, ice, and mud can significantly increase the likelihood of slips and trips.

4. Lighting Conditions: Evaluate the adequacy of lighting in all work areas. Poor lighting can make it difficult to see obstacles, leading to an increased risk of tripping or slipping.

5. Use and Storage of Materials and Equipment: Assess how materials and equipment are stored and used around the site. Clutter, improper storage, and poorly placed equipment and materials can create tripping hazards.

6. Type of Footwear Used: Review the type of footwear worn by workers. Ensure it is suitable for the type of work and walking surfaces, providing adequate grip and support to reduce slip risks.

7. Presence and Condition of Warning Signs and Barriers: Check for the presence and visibility of warning signs and barriers around known hazards. Proper signage can alert workers to potential risks and encourage cautious behavior.

8. Housekeeping Practices: Evaluate the regularity and effectiveness of housekeeping practices. Good housekeeping is crucial in preventing slips and trips, as it helps in maintaining clean and clear walking paths.

By focusing on these considerations, construction sites can be better assessed for risk of falls on the same level.

Regulations & Standards:

Regulations adopted by a state must be at least as protective as the corresponding federal standard. Work may also be subject to rules of other federal, state and local agencies. Even where there is no hazard specific standard, OSHA prohibits employers from to work in surroundings or under working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to his health or safety.

Federal OSHA Standards are enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor in 26 states. There are currently 22 states and jurisdictions operating complete State plans (covering both the private sector and state and local government employees) and 5 - Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and the Virgin Islands - which cover public employees only. If you are working in one of those states or jurisdictions you should ensure that you are complying with their requirements.