Provided by the North Central ESD Workers Compensation Trust


The average person in the US takes over 5,000 steps a day. Yet, it only takes one wrong step and less than a second to stumble and fall. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) slips, trips and falls are one of the most frequent type of injuries reported by public employees. Obstructions left on the floor and uneven floor surfaces are responsible for most trip injuries.

Safe Work Practices to Help Avoid a Trip/Fall

Live by the rule “Everything has a Place and Everything in its Place - keeping work areas clean.

Practice good housekeeping

  • Keep aisles/walkways/stairwells clear of obstructions such as toys, teaching supplies, backpacks, tools/equipment, electrical cords, boxes, etc.

  • Push chairs underneath desks and close desk and file drawers when not in use.

  • Tidy/clean work areas, including offices, classrooms, labs, shops, art rooms, kitchens, etc. daily.

Control cords

  • Use retractable cord holders when possible.
  • Cover/secure cords in walkways with a cord cover or tape.
  • Secure cords near or underneath the desk when necessary to keep them out of walkways.

Perform periodic inspections and ongoing maintenance of walking surfaces

  • Remove any obstructions blocking the walkway.
  • Clear stone or debris on the walking surfaces.
  • Replace or re-stretch loose, buckled, frayed or worn carpeting.
  • Replace indented or blistered vinyl tile or broken ceramic tile.
  • Patch or fill cracks in walkways greater than ½" wide.
  • Repair or replace damaged stairs, treading, and handrails, and burned out lights.
  • Replace burned out bulbs or add additional lights to poorly lit areas.
  • Highlight changes in walkway elevation and/or potential trip hazards, i.e., stairs, curbs, etc., using contrasting colors of flooring/carpet, warning tape, or warning paint, i.e., Safety Yellow paint.

Avoid carrying loads/items that are so large that they block your view.

Keep your eyes on path… your mind on task… and stay on designated path.

Watch where you are going; stay focused; don’t become distracted; and avoid taking shortcuts.

If you spot a trip hazard… remove it, fix it or report it!

And, remember…

“Go wisely and slowly. Those who rush stumble and fall.”

~William Shakespeare

North Central ESD Workers' Compensation Trust

Providing Risk Management Services to Reduce On-The-Job Injuries