Slips, Trips & Falls | Cable Hooks For Reduced Accidents & Improved Safety During Shutdowns
Published 25 Mar 2019
Accidents are expensive: but is it safety, or housekeeping that will make the change?
Slips, trips and falls on the same level (excluding falls from height) accounted for 31% of all UK workplace accidents in 2018 according to RIDDOR 2017/2018 (Reporting of Incidents, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations).
These accidents are extremely expensive to both companies and the individuals who get injured, causing days off work and expensive insurance claims. A list of all UK workplace accidents can be found here.
Using the 80/20 rule, the main focus should be to reduce these common accidents.
Let’s look at common causes of workplace accidents, and find some quick, free or low costly solutions to prevent this unnecessary evil.
Slips often happen due to wet or slippery floors. Wet and slippery floors can sometimes be easily tackled by small adjustments in the work environment. For example, a change in the cleaning regime proved one company to reduce its slips by 80%.
Think small adjustments; choose a convenient time to clean the floors when most employees are behind their desks, workstations or worksites in the field, rather than cleaning floors at 7:45 am, just before all employees arrive to work, or just before the shift change. Have a door mat for all entry points, it’s cheap and effective.
Simple slip prevention includes using the correct type of slip-resistant footwear. Remember, if footwear is supplied as personal protective equipment (PPE), it must be supplied free of charge to employees.
The decision to involve the affected employees in choosing the right shoes, will help the employees understand the issues and will promote positive change.
Also, consider age and construction of buildings, whether there is evidence of leaking roofs, if walkways are exposed to the elements, or whether there is a potential for water, mud, ice or other substance build-up.
The most important factor in slip accident prevention is to have decent grip at all times. In a food industry plant this method reduced slipping accidents up to 60%.
Having arrangements for routine cleaning and dealing with accidental spills is normal practice in every company. Where floors cannot be kept clean and dry, again, slip-resistant footwear can prevent accidents.
How To ‘Tackle’ Trips
Trips are often caused by uneven floor surfaces and obstacles, or trip hazards. These can be prevented by design and good housekeeping regimes.
Keeping the workplace clean and organised is the clear prevention message. Are there any trip hazards in corridors and walkways or in the entire industrial work environment?
Think of tripping hazards such as cables, tools, hoses, boxes, pallets, or other objects that could cause a potential tripping accident.
Removing these hazards can be done by tying them up next to the walkways, or re-routing these items away from the walk spaces.
Quick solutions to remove hazardous obstructions from the work floor vary, from cable tie-wraps, steel wires, welding anodes and ‘S’ shaped cable safety hooks.
Cable Hooks For Safe Cable Support, Suspension & Management
Tidi-Cable Products are a simple cable support range of products designed to suspend hoses, wires, cables and ropes. Tidi-Cable steel cable hooks are used by most of the major oil and gas and construction companies and enable employees to adhere to their housekeeping and safety policies.
Tidi-Cable Steel Hooks are designed to be fire resistant and help to manage LV-HV power cables, as well as welding cables, extension cords and hoses. The simple Steel S Hooks and Figure of 8 Hooks are simple, effective products that enable the users to fix cables to hand rails, fences and scaffolding.
Tidi-Cable’s Steel S Hooks come in various different sizes including:
- TCS003 – 235mm length, small hook internal diameter 55mm, large hook internal diameter 72mm, max. load 10kg
- TCS004 – 235mm length, small hook internal diameter 55mm, large hook internal diameter 72mm, max. load 20kg
- TCS005 – 310mm length, small hook internal diameter 55mm, large hook internal diameter 90mm, max. load 30kg
- TCS006 – 415mm length, small hook internal diameter 64mm, large hook internal diameter 115mm, max. load 55kg
The cable hooks are made from galvanised steel and coated in a highly visible powder coated orange. For special projects, Tidi-Cable are able to ‘own brand’ and colour any products to the customers specification.
Checking Your Walkways
Check for suitable walkways. Are they in the right place? Are they being used? Are they available for use? What tasks are taking place on the walkway? Are some tasks preventing the employee from seeing where he or she is going?
Lessons: Walkways must be safe to walk over at all times. Confronted with tasks carrying loads of tools or boxes in hand, employees should have the confidence that you and your co-workers have housekeeping elements embedded in their work operation.
This can be done by well described company policies and procedures, which should be implemented through company campaigns and brought into the company culture by training for all employees.
By keeping walkways safe and clean, employees’ experience free walkways with no clutter. Well-marked and obstructed repair sites will have better visibility during construction, maintenance or turnaround activities.
Do you already have enough policies and procedures, but still want to improve the bottom line by safe work attitude adjustment? Try to apply a teach-by-example approach.
For example, a refinery with many contractors, different job requirements and safety policies may pressure the workers to cut corners by not following these company guidelines and procedures.
Keeping Walkways Safe & Clean
Slips, trips and falls put pressure on families, cost money, and hurt the bottom line. Could all of this be avoided? Lost time injuries by slips, trips and falls are often simple to prevent and can improve the companies’ incident ratings in the short term.
Housekeeping simply improves the workplace for others, who can in their turn dedicate time to focus on their core jobs and appreciate not having to sort their cables and hoses out in the end. A benefit is that hoses and cables do not wear as fast by-passing traffic, resulting in fewer spills.
Adequate Site Signage
All workplaces have dangers and risks, from taps that run with scolding hot water to big open floor spaces on construction sites. One of the easiest ways to inform stakeholders of the risks is to always put up adequate signage warning of any dangers. More information can be found on the signage requirements Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 here.
Improving Essential Housekeeping Elements
It is not just good enough to have a walkway; it must be kept clear, no obstructions and no trailing wires. Employees and cleaners need to have “see it, sort it” attitude to ensure these and other work areas are kept clear. Safety is everyone’s responsibility in any workplace and has been for decades, however there is still much to be done to change the ‘not my responsibility’ culture all over the world.
Is the cleaning regime effective? Are there enough storage bins on the facility? Have you described this standard type of working in your company?
Lessons: Keep it clear, remove cables and hoses and work in a clean environment by suspending obstructions with tie-wraps or hooks from the work floor. This will not only improve the lifecycle of these tools and cables, but it will significantly reduce the number of tripping points.
Applying good housekeeping to keep walkways clean and clear helps employees and contractors understand that your company applies high safety standards by tackling direct causes of the highest incident rate; slips, trips and falls.
Design & Maintenance Of The Workplace Environment
When assessing the quality of your safety regime, ask the following questions:
- Is the floor suitable and safe for the workers?
- Is it fitted correctly and properly maintained?
- Are walkways wide enough and do they have no unexpected level differences?
- Are stairs suitable?
- Is there adequate signage warning people of hazards?
- Are solid handrails available at every stair case?
- Do environmental factors such as good lighting conditions also fall in the category of good housekeeping? Is there enough light for employees to identify hazards?
Lessons: Floor openings used for maintenance or repair should be well‐marked. Make sure lighting is sufficient and that slopes, unbalanced variations in floor levels, and steps are clearly visible.
Keep walkways and work areas clear of obstructions. Blunt objects in walkways should be well marked and have soft padding.
Slips and trips are not only unpleasant, but are costly to the bottom line. Use common sense to review risks. Discuss “What if’s…”, and find low cost solutions.
It leaves us with the question; should housekeeping be an essential part of your safety department when it comes to preventing the most likely type of accidents on your work floor?
Shutdowns & Turnarounds
With an ever increasing need for cost control and management of project complexities, the significance of every decision made by a TAR manager during the planning and execution stages of these events is continuously imperative.
As the current oil price downturn has widened refining margins and set owners smiling from ear to ear, the realities are still the same for the shutdown manager.
In this interview, IQPC speak with a Shutdowns and Turnarounds veteran, André Bokma, Turnaround Coordinator at Neste.
The interview confronts the growing difficulties of finding the right people for the job, and how the simple, graphical visualisation of the turnaround process can really swing the balance between success and failure.
LV, MV & HV Jointing, Earthing, Substation & Electrical Eqpt
Thorne & Derrick International are specialist distributors of LV, MV & HV Cable Installation, Jointing, Duct Sealing, Substation & Electrical Equipment – servicing UK and global businesses involved in cable installations, cable jointing, substation, overhead line and electrical construction at LV, 11kV, 33kV and EHV.
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