Employee exposure to wet floors or spills and clutter that can lead to slips/trips/falls and other possible injuries.
- Keep floors clean and dry [29 CFR 1910.22(a)(2)]. In addition to being a slip hazard, continually wet surfaces promote the growth of mold, fungi, and bacteria, that can cause infections.
- Provide warning signs for wet floor areas [29 CFR 1910.145(c)(2)].
- Where wet processes are used, maintain drainage and provide false floors, platforms, mats, or other dry standing
places where practicable, or provide appropriate waterproof footgear [29 CFR 1910.141(a)(3)(ii)].
- Walking/Working Surfaces Standard requires [29 CFR 1910.22(a)(1)]:
Keep all places of employment clean and orderly and in a sanitary condition.
- Keep aisles and passageways clear and in good repair, with no obstruction across or in aisles that
could create a hazard [29 CFR 1910.22(a)]. Provide floor plugs for equipment, so power cords need not run across pathways.
- Keep exits free from obstruction. Access to exits must remain clear of obstructions at all times
[29 CFR 1910.36(b)(4)].
Other Recommended Good Work Practices:
- Ensure spills are reported and cleaned up immediately.
- Use no-skid waxes and surfaces coated with grit to create non-slip surfaces in slippery areas such as toilet and shower areas.
- Use waterproof footgear to decrease slip/fall hazards.
- Use only properly maintained ladders to reach items. Do not use stools, chairs, or boxes as substitutes for ladders.
- Re-lay or stretch carpets that bulge or have become bunched to prevent tripping hazards.
- Aisles and passageways should be sufficiently wide for easy movement and should be kept clear at all times. Temporary electrical cords that cross aisles should be taped or anchored to the floor.
- Eliminate cluttered or obstructed work areas.
- Nurses station countertops or medication carts should be free of sharp, square corners.
- Use prudent housekeeping procedures such as cleaning only one side of a passageway at a time, and provide good lighting for all halls and stairwells, to help reduce accidents.
- Provide adequate lighting especially during night hours. You can use flashlights or low-level lighting when entering patient rooms.
- Instruct workers to use the handrail on stairs, to avoid undue speed, and to maintain an unobstructed view of the stairs ahead of them even if that means requesting help to manage a bulky load.
- Eliminate uneven floor surfaces.
- Promote safe work in cramped working spaces. Avoid awkward positions, and use equipment that makes lifts less awkward.
- 29 CFR 1910.22, General
Requirements (Walking/Working Surfaces). OSHA Standard.
- Small Business Handbook. OSHA Publication 2209, (2005). Helps small business employers meet the legal requirements imposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the Act), and achieve an in-compliance status before an OSHA inspection.