Pages Navigation Menu

Eliminating hazards in the work place – South Africa vs. Global

Eliminating hazards in the work place – South Africa vs. Global

It has come to my attention that in South Africa there is a tendency NOT to report slips and near misses in the work environment. As the statistics emphasise below, this is a very strange phenomenon as many accidents resulting from slips and falls occur in the workplace.

In the United States, United Kingdom, Europe and Australia, slips and trips are treated as a high risk. This high risk ranking is a priority for attention in factories and workplaces. The environment is “controlled” by placing anti-slip treads and mats in the areas of risk in order to remove any potential hazard, thus “fixing” what they can fix and ensuring control measures are put in place.

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS):

  • There are 2 types of falls – elevated falls and same-level falls
  • 65% of fall-related injuries occur as a result of falls from same-level walking surfaces
  • The services, wholesale, and retail trade industries together accounted for over 60% of injuries that resulted from same level falls
  • The manufacturing sector alone accounted for 16% of injuries that resulted from same-level falls
  • While same-level falls are more common, elevated falls are often the most serious and cause more severe injuries to a less number of people
  • Over 60% of all elevated falls are from a height of less than 10 feet
  • Over one million Americans suffer a slip, trip, and fall injury every year
  • An estimated 20 – 30% of people who experience a slip and fall will suffer moderate to severe injuries such as bruises, hip fractures, or head injuries
  • The most common fractures that occur from slip and fall accidents are fractures are of the spine, hip, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm, and hand
  • Slip and fall accidents are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and these account for 46% of fatal falls among older Americans
  • Slips, trips and fall accidents can also cause other complications including: Death, Incapacitation, Broken bones and fractures, Long-term medical complications, Head trauma and Spinal cord injuries
  • 1 in 6 of all lost-time work injuries result from slips, trips and falls
  • Slips, trips and fall injuries make up almost 20 percent of all job related injuries
  • It is estimated that these injuries result in an average of 11 days away from work
  • Approximately 19, 565 people die in the U.S. annually due to injuries caused by unintentional falls;
  • According to OSHA, slips, trips and falls cause 15% of all accidental deaths
  • Slips, trips and fall injuries account for between 12% and 15% of all Workers’ Compensation expenses
  • Slips, trip and fall injuries cost employers approximately $40,000 per incident

In conclusion, the South African workforce ACCEPT slips as normal. It is not! A paradigm shift needs to occur where slips are prevented, not “over looked”.

To avoid potentially costly “slip and falls” contact your Supersafe Systems representative to assist you in assessing your locations for workplace hazards and help build a culture of safety in your organization.

Leave a Comment