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Safety Focus: Avoiding workplace slips, trips and falls

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WorkCover Authority New South Wales has issued a press release warning of the dangers of a simple slip, trip or fall at work.

These kinds of accidents, WorkCover cautions, can have major consequences, including the serious injury or death of a worker.

General Manager of WorkCover NSW's Work Health and Safety Division, John Watson, notes that falls on the same level are one of the most common workplace injuries.

“During 2010/11 there were 14,720 claims for slips, trips and falls on the same level at a cost of more than $117 million to the NSW Workers Compensation Scheme,” he said.

A free webinar is available on the WorkCover NSW website that has been designed to help businesses and workers to prevent falls on the same level in the workplace.

"The webinar looks at the requirements for managing falls on the same level in the workplace as well as work health and safety responsibilities, and how to identify and control risks," Watson explained.

The most immediate way in which the risk of falls on the same level can be minimised is by installing non slip flooring. Ferret.com.au maintains an extensive directory of businesses that offer such safety solutions. Two companies of note in this area are Composite Engineering and Grip Guard Non Slip .

Composite Engineering offers a range of fibreglass products including non-slip overlays and nosing, primarily used to reduce slip risks on stairs. The company’s TreadGrip nosing is a slip-resistant stair nosing designed to provide superior traction even in wet or oily conditions.

Composite's TreadGrip overlay is a plate that can be fitted over the top of existing internal and external stairs/steps. It is manufactured from a high quality polyester resin that is not only extremely hard wearing, but also corrosion, chemical and fire resistant, and has a course aggregate finish which makes the step anti-slip.

Grip Guard Non Slip takes slip protection a step further by offering floor treatments that modify flooring surfaces, increasing grip for all types of foot traffic and wheel tires. Unlike anti slip floor coatings, Grip Guard treatments will not wear off like harsh floor etches, and will not damage floor surfaces.

They can be fitted out without disruption to normal business procedures, and once applied, treated floor surfaces require no special maintenance.

Grip Guard floor treatments are available for all types of surfaces including:
  • marble
  • granite
  • terrazzo
  • ceramic
  • porcelain
  • concrete (polished and unpolished)
  • slate
  • limestone; and
  • exposed aggregate.

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