Importance of a Clean Work Area in Slip and Fall Prevention

With the hustle and bustle of a workday, it’s easy to think, “I’ll clean that up later,” and move on to the next item on your to-do list.  Then you encounter it later and realize it’s now a safety hazard. How many times have we stumbled over an item on the floor or slipped on a wet spot due to an unclean work area?  

A clean work area is a safe work area 

Developing a safety culture significantly reduces slip and fall accidents and injuries 

In any type of work environment, all walkways, including elevated work platforms and catwalks, must be kept clean and free of slip and fall hazards. Establishing a protocol for housekeeping standards, promoting clean habits, and performing a regular safety audit can accomplish this. By being aware of work environments and any hazards associated with it, safety managers and employees can help each other create a much safer, more efficient workplace. Performing a routine safety audit can bring attention to hazards and areas of concern. These can be added to a scheduled audit for continued cleanup and inspection. 

Cleanliness improves productivity and morale in the workplace 

A clean work area not only prevents injuries but also allows employees to perform their jobs more confidently. OSHA Standard 1910.141(a)(3)(1), states, “All places of employment shall be kept clean to the extent that the nature of the work allows.” This standard is not just about cleanliness, it lays the foundation for slip and fall accident prevention. In turn, this produces a safer work environment and translates into a more productive and happier employee. 

Poor housekeeping practices may mask slip and fall hazards 

If the presence of debris, clutter, and spills is common, then other more serious hazards may be taken for granted and overlooked. Slip and fall prevention is not just a question of cleanliness; it’s also mindset and awareness of your surroundings.  

Unclean work areas can cause incidents, such as:  

  • Tripping over objects on floors, stairs, and elevated work areas 
  • Slipping on greasy, wet, or contaminated surfaces 
  • Tripping over damaged uneven flooring surfaces 
  • Losing footing on loose material and debris, such as sawdust or sand 

A clean work area results in:  

  • Fewer slip and trip incidents in a debris-free and spill-free work area 
  • Fewer lost time injuries 
  • Better employee morale 
  • Improved employee productivity 
  • Increased profitability 

To help prevent slip and fall injuries, establish a safety culture, and conduct regular facility audits. 

If you’re unsure where to start, schedule a plant visit with one of our SLIPNOT safety specialists. You can explore a range of safety floor products and surface technologies that can eliminate the risk of slips and falls by over 90%. 

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