Wet weather can be a nuisance, meaning being trapped inside and dealing with wet messes tracked in by students and faculty.

August 3, 2021 / bracketmedia

Preventing Slips and Falls at School 

Wet weather can be a nuisance, meaning being trapped inside and dealing with wet messes tracked in by students and faculty. Moreover, the wet walking surfaces this nuisance creates present a serious slipping hazard for you, your students and fellow faculty.

In fact, surfaces that are wet for any reason—weather-related or not—are a workplace hazard. Water can come from rain, cleaning and accident spills, wet winter conditions or activities that require the use of water. Slipping on a wet surface can result in bruises, strains and sprains, lacerations, fractures, head trauma and even fatality. And those incidents can stack up to lost wages or a lawsuit. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to keep your team and students safe.

Be Aware of Hazards 

Each educational institution is different, so the ways you deal with wet surfaces may vary. However, following these general guidelines is a good start.

• Clean up spills immediately.

• Use caution signs to clearly identify when a surface is wet or likely to become wet and remove the signs as soon as the surface is dry.

• Barricade affected areas where possible.

• Check for equipment and electrical currents that may not be grounded and wires that are not insulated near wet areas. Never use electrical equipment while standing on a wet surface.

• Place floor mats at all entrances to reduce tracking in water from outside.

• Be sure to wear shoes with slip-resistant soles, and encourage your students to do the same.

• Report any spills or wet areas that you notice to your supervisor.

Anti-slip Tips 

If you or your students do walk through a wet area, follow these tips to avoid slipping and falling.

• Slow down! Rushing is not worth a serious injury and lost wages.

• Take small steps to keep your balance centered.

• Walk with your feet pointed slightly outward to form a stable base.

• Make wide turns at corners.

• Use handrails if present.

• Concentrate on the surface you are walking on.

• Be prepared for slippery patches.

• Keep your hands out for balance.

Communicate the danger of wet surfaces to your students and encourage them to use the same caution you do when the floors are wet for any reason. This simple lesson could save them a good deal of pain and maybe even their lives!

Cooperate and Stay Alert 

If you have any doubt about the safety of your workspace, whether it concerns a wet surface or another hazard, talk to your supervisor. It takes the cooperation of the entire team to keep everyone safe!

This safety matters flyer is for general informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical or legal advice. © 2010, 2014-2015, 2019 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

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