Fall Prevention Awareness Week started Saturday, September 22 this year. Have you included it on your priority list?
If you’ve been in the health and safety industry long, you’ve probably realized there is no shortage to the number of safety awareness events in a given year.
There’s a good reason for that: these events bring health and safety to the spotlight.
Formal events shed insight on safety topics that most employees take for granted. They help create top of mind awareness that gets people actively thinking about their actions and how they play a role in workplace safety.
Here’s how you can introduce Fall Prevention Awareness Week into your organization.
Recognize the Most Common Causes of Falls
Workplace falls account for hundreds of deaths and tens of thousands of injuries each year. They’re the culprit behind 15% of all accidental deaths. But in order to lower this number year after year, it’s important your team recognize what causes falls and how they can be prevented.
According to the CDC and Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following contribute to the majority of workplace falls:
- Wet, slick, or oily floors
- Debris left in the walkway
- Protruding floorboards or nails
- Uneven rugs or carpeting
- Ladders (especially if poorly maintained)
The most important thing to remember is that falls are 100% preventable. With proper prevention and attention to detail, no workplace should ever have to deal with the aftermath of a fall.
Fall Prevention Topics
Fall prevention can cover a variety of situations and topics in any industry. From using ladders on the job to going up and down stairs, falls can happen to anyone at any time.
Also, keep in mind that fall prevention isn’t just limited to the workplace. Consider the impact it would have on your organization if an employee were to fall and become injured at home. How would it impact your company’s productivity and bottom line? Would you have to hire a temp employee while your injured employee recovers?
Fall Prevention Awareness Week was designed to keep people safe, regardless of where they are. Some topics you might want to cover this week include the following:
- Home Safety and Prevention
- Fall Prevention with Pets
- How Vision or Medical Issues Impact Fall Safety
- Using Assistive Devices and Other Gear to Prevent Falls
- Outdoor Fall Risks
- Weather-Related Falls
- Slips and Trips
- Equipment Handling to Prevent Falls
- Ladder Safety
These are just a few of the many topics you could include in your Fall Prevention Awareness Week. The topics you choose should be made relevant to your employees and industries so that employees can better apply what they learn.
It’s not enough to passively promote Fall Prevention Awareness Week. Things like posters, t-shirts, and email blasts bring awareness to the fact that there’s an awareness week for fall prevention, but these do little to nothing in helping employees know how to prevent falls.
Instead, engaging them with hands-on activities or training opportunities can help put fall prevention practices into perspective.
Some ideas include the following:
- Fall prevention-themed games, like Bingo
- Fall prevention workshops
- Guest speakers from the fire department, hospital, or physical therapy center
- Host a fall prevention discussion or panel
- Set up a footwear check station to identify unsafe footwear at work
Whatever events you choose to include in your awareness week, it’s important to get as much participation as possible. Some companies make every safety event mandatory. Or, if you want to make some events optional, consider offering an incentive for participation, such as refreshments, a personal day, an extended lunch, or door prize.
Commit to Fall Prevention Awareness Week 2018
Fall Prevention Awareness Week is an annual event that should remain on your calendar year after year. The potential consequences of a single fall are far too great to ignore. Even one injury can set a company back thousands of dollars in damages, lost productivity, and medical costs.
When you take time to make fall prevention a yearly priority in your organization, you’ll be able to enjoy the results for years to come.
What are you planning for your Fall Prevention Awareness Week? We’ve love to hear it! Feel free to leave your inspiration or comment below.