Summary

  • OSHA’s walking-working surfaces and fall protection standards (also known as slips, trips, and falls) for general industry workplaces regulate most areas where employees may work or travel in the workplace. Walking-working surfaces include ladders, wall and floor openings, ramps, stairways, and scaffolds.
  • Slips may be caused by inconsistencies in walking surfaces, including the presence of substances such as ice, water, oil, loose gravel and worn-out flooring surfaces.
  • Trips start with a loss of balance and most often end in a fall. People may trip when a surface is uneven, or another object gets in the way of a walking path. Common trip triggers include poor lighting, uneven carpet or flooring, cables or other electrical equipment, stairs and various distractions while walking.
  • Most often, falls happen because of an unexpected change in conditions – that is surface conditions, environmental conditions or walking conditions.
  • It is important to practice good housekeeping, quality of walking surfaces (flooring), selection of proper footwear, and appropriate pace of walking as these are critical for preventing fall incidents.