Hospitality Focus on Safety: Slips, Trips and Falls
Slips, trips and falls represent about 17% of the time-loss injuries claimed against workers’ compensation boards. Slips happen where the friction or traction between the footwear and the walking surface is compromised. Trips happen when your foot collides with an object unexpectedly, causing a loss of balance. About 2/3 of all falls happen at ground level, caused by slipping or tripping, and the remaining 1/3 will happen from an elevation.
- Wet or oily surfaces
- Hazardous weather conditions
- Loose or tattered rugs or mats
- Transition between flooring surfaces that have different degrees of traction
- Uneven walking surfaces
- Poorly installed or damaged thresholds
- Obstructed view while walking
- Poor lighting
- Misplaced or disorganized items
- Warped or damaged carpeting
- Cords and cables
- Drawers or cupboards left open
- Place a Caution Sign immediately by any wet or oily surface.
- Clean floors regularly to remove debris and spills.
- Ensure all halls, stairs and common areas are clear of obstacles.
- In inclement weather, place caution signs in any location that is hazardous.
- Tack or replace all mats, rugs and carpets that do not lay flat.
- Repair or replace raised thresholds.
- Never push carts, caddies or racks or carry items that will obstruct a clear view of the intended direction.
- Ensure all burned bulbs are reported and replaced quickly.
- Secure or cover any permanent cables.
- Keep cords in use close out of the walking paths of others.
- Regularly organize and clear storage closets of clutter.
- Always close drawers and cupboards before walking away.
- For housekeeping inspections, open all drawers and cupboards from the back of the room to the front as you exit.
- Identify any and all slip or trip hazards at your property and report them to management immediately and repeatedly until repairs are made.
- Wear non-slip shoes.
- Take proper time to complete tasks, adjusting your pace for each walking surface.
- Pay attention to the path in front of you and make wide turns around corners.
- Walk with the feet pointed slightly outward.
In the event of an injury due to a slip, trip or fall:
- Follow the guidelines for the incident found in the Emergency Binder.
- If you feel you may have incurred an injury of any kind, report it immediately to your supervisor.
- Be very clear on whether you require immediate medical attention, imminent medical attention or request additional accommodations to prevent injury in the future.
- Report the incident to the Risk Management Team.
- Inform the staff of the incident and make corrections to procedures or errors to ensure that this incident does recur.
June McCreight began her career in the hospitality industry as a housekeeper in 1996. In the years since, she has risen through the ranks, learning maintenance, front office, sales and revenue management, property management and district management, bench management and opening team management. She has trained hundreds of hoteliers and won many awards for her management successes. In 2011, June wrote and published, The Strangers in My Beds, a fictional novel based strictly on the strange events of her career in hotels. In 2014, June partnered with her father, a very accomplished software architect, and opened the business, Coba Enterprise Management, LLC with a very unique and specialized CMMS (Computer Maintenance Management System) software for hotels.