Watch Your Step: Steer Clear of Slips, Trips and Falls

By: Jana L. Davidson, Education Content Specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation

dsc01321You may have heard the saying, “a spill or slip can lead to a hospital trip!” From ice on the sidewalks to toys left on the stairs, the dangers of hidden hazards are all around us. The aftermath of slips, trips and falls can not only cause injury and physical pain, but days missed at work or school, lost wages and medical bills. According to the National Safety Council, 2016 data reveals that falls are the third leading cause of death in the United States. In 2014 alone, falls accounted for more than 32,000 deaths in the home, community and workplace.

Slips, trips and falls are a common cause of most of the injuries on farms. Weather hazards, rushing to complete daily tasks, poor housekeeping, bad traction, and wet, oily or uneven surfaces account for many incidents.  Fortunately, many of these incidents involving slips and falls can be prevented by being cautious and following important safety measures. Here are five safety tips to keep you on your feet and avoiding missing a beat:

  1. dsc01374Always clean up spills immediately and stay off of freshly mopped floors. Wear shoes with good support and slip-resistant soles.
  2. Assess potential dangers around the home or farm. Secure electrical cords by keeping them out of high traffic areas, arrange furniture or equipment to provide open walking pathways and install adequate lighting both indoors and outdoors.
  3. When it comes to staircases and walkways, install handrails and keep the area clutter free by removing any potential tripping hazards such as shoes, toys, clothes and boxes. If you have young children, install gates at the top and bottom of stairs. Be sure to unlatch the gate in order to pass through and don’t climb over them. Not only does climbing over them leave an opportunity for an incident, it role models unsafe behavior to youngsters.
  4. Keep frequently used items in easily reachable and accessible areas and never stand on a table, chair or other surface with wheels.
  5. Maintenance is key. Repair damages immediately and take time to remove debris from exterior walkways and adjust gutter downspouts to drive water away from pathways. Don’t take chances with faulty, broken or unsecured ladders.

Each year, the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® program reaches more than 100,000 youth and adults throughout North America and covers numerous safety topics including slips, trips and falls. For more information on safety or for details about hosting, donating, volunteering or attending at a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day®, visit or call us toll-free at 888-257-3529.

Photos: Participants at a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® held in Pennsylvania identify potential dangers and hidden hazards around the home and farm in an effort to keep themselves, as well as their family and friends, safe from slips, trips or falls.