Avoiding Slips, Trips, and Falls for Healthcare Workers

Yellow sign on floor cautioning wet floor.

Common hazards like water spills and burned-out light bulbs can lead to serious, painful injuries—and could also limit your ability to respond to emergencies. Protect yourself, your coworkers, and your patients by doing what you can to create a hazard-free workplace.

Clean up wet surfaces

Anytime you see (or cause) a spill, clean it up right away. If you can’t, mark it with a sign or paper towels and report it to the appropriate person for cleanup.

Place paper towel and spill pad holders in areas where spills are likely. Wear slip-resistant shoes. Use only non-slip mats.

Keep your area clutter-free and well-lit

Every piece of equipment left out or file drawer left open is a hazard that can trip you up, particularly when it’s dark:

  • Clean up clutter, especially in front of doors, in hallways, and on stairs.

  • Organize electric cords to avoid tripping on them.

  • Don’t leave wheelchairs, cleaning supplies, handcarts, and other materials lying around.

  • Turn on lights before entering a room or supply closet.

  • Report burned-out light bulbs to maintenance promptly.

  • Close file drawers before you walk away from them.

Avoid shortcuts

Taking a shortcut to save time can be risky. The more shortcuts you take, the greater your chance for taking a tumble:

  • Find a ladder or a step stool when something’s out of easy reach, instead of using an object not meant for climbing. Never reach for a load higher than your shoulders.

  • Never carry a load that you can’t see over. If necessary, make more than one trip, use supply carts, or ask for assistance.

  • Use only designated walkways. Be sure that stairways have handrails on both sides.

  • Sudden dropoffs or rises in the walkway should be eliminated or clearly marked with yellow warning paint.