Slip, trip or fall hazards on some jobs, such as working in the derrick, on the rig floor, or on raised decks can be deadly. The phrase “slip, trip, and fall” may initially seem redundant, but these are three distinct types of safety hazards. All three hazards can result in injury and equipment or property damage.
Slip hazards are created when liquids, ice or other materials interfere with the traction between the floor and a person’s feet. Injuries from slips can include broken bones, back injuries, and bruises. A description of a slip-related accident usually goes like this: “My feet just went out from under me.”
Trip hazards usually involve an inappropriately placed object such as an electrical cord, storage box, pipe or tool. People that trip over something can either fall to the ground or into another object. Even when they catch themselves, they can still suffer broken bones and bruises. Equipment and tools can also be broken.
Falls can be life threatening. Each year there are many fatal incidents in the industry and numerous workers are injured. A wide range of protections are available, including guardrails, fall arrest systems, safety nets, covers, and travel restriction systems.
Precautions: Slip, trip and fall protections can be as simple as using a flashlight to see where you are walking to elaborate harness systems for working in the derrick. As with any workplace hazard, a careful evaluation of the work area to assess the hazards is an important first precaution.