AMLJIA, The Bridge





Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls at School

Schools are centers of activity bustling with students, teachers and support staff, parents, and community members. Between school instruction, sporting events, and other activities, schools are often occupied from morning until night. The constant activity on school property increases the likelihood that slips, trips, or falls will occur. A vigilant staff and pro-active maintenance can reduce your exposure and protect your students, staff, and visitors.

Make sure aisles and walkways are kept clear of items such as backpacks, boxes, and electrical cords. If an extension cord is needed for temporary wiring, use tape to secure it to the floor to prevent tripping; never cover an extension cord with a rug. Keep stairwells clear, and promptly repair or replace damaged stairs, treads, handrails, and lights.

Use non-slip floor matting at all entrances. During periods of rain or heavy snowfall, it may become necessary to replace mats during the day if they become saturated with water. Use non-slip mats in areas such as the kitchen or cafeteria that are prone to water or other spills. Use appropriate methods for cleaning floors and for degreasing kitchen floors. Use appropriate covers on floor drains and other openings so they are flush with the floor.

Limit the use of high-level storage areas to minimize the use of ladders and reduce the risk of falls. Where they are needed, provide appropriate ladders to reach stored items. Provide approved step stools for teaching staff where needed to reach upper storage shelves, bulletin board displays, etc. Educate all staff on the danger of using chairs or other furniture as a substitute for a step stool or ladder.

Perform regular inspections and maintenance on outdoor grounds such as sidewalks, parking areas, and playgrounds. Make sure outdoor lighting is adequate, and replace broken lights as soon as possible. Encourage the use of designated walkways. Maintain adequate amounts of ice melt and perform frequent inspections of walkways during periods of freezing rain or heavy snowfall. Regularly inspect snow removal equipment to ensure it is ready for use.

Employee training is the most important component of your slip, trip, and fall prevention program. Train staff on what to do if they encounter spills or unsafe conditions so that corrective action can be taken before an incident or accident occurs. An ice gripper program, combined with employee training, is an effective way to reduce slips and falls associated with icy conditions. Remember, your Safety Savings Account can be used to purchase safety supplies such as ice melt, non-slip mats, and ice cleats. Contact your AMLJIA Risk Control Specialist at 800-337-3682 for assistance implementing an ice gripper program and for employee safety training and written programs.