Falls from vehicles can lead to serious injuries or death. These accidents are responsible for thousands of injuries every year. They often result from slip and falls from workplace vehicle access ladders or steps, inadequate footwear, inclement weather conditions, torn sheets or broken ropes that cause overbalancing, or a general lack of awareness.
There are several steps that people can take to prevent falls from vehicles.
Entering and Exiting the Vehicle
For vehicles requiring the use of a ladder or steps, it’s important to avoid jumping down at any point from the vehicle. Jumping down can do damage to the knees and increase the risk of falling. Instead, people should always use the ladder and steps as needed, whether entering or exiting the vehicle.
In addition, people should slow down when stepping down from a vehicle, whether descending from the cabin, catwalk, or loading area connected to the vehicle.
Another good practice is to look around for any uneven surfaces such as curbs or potholes that could cause slip and fall accidents after stepping down from the vehicle.
In the workplace, employees should report any damaged or missing equipment that could increase the risk of falls and other work injuries.
Maintaining the Area Around the Vehicle
Before getting into a vehicle, operators should perform checks, including looking around the steps and handrails to make sure they are consistently in good condition.
In cold weather conditions or around refrigerated vehicles, individuals should also check the space around the vehicle for any water or ice and take steps to remove it.
Dirt and spills can also cause falls, making it necessary to check for them and remove them from load areas, catwalks, or vehicle access points. Additionally, objects such as ropes, boxes, or others could cause slips.
If any broken equipment or other objects are present that may cause a slip and fall, it’s important to report these hazards if unable to remove them immediately.
Creating a Safer Workspace
To further prevent falls from vehicles, workers can wear the proper equipment such as boots and other gear that prevents slipping. They can also practice safe loading and unloading systems and remain aware of their surroundings. Employers, in turn, can implement protocols to help maintain a safe work environment.
All of these steps can help minimize the risk of falls from vehicles and keep people safer.