Preventing Slip and Fall Injuries at Work FAQ Q. What is the first step in preventing slip and fall injuries at your church? A. Form a Safety and Security Team. Q. What are some of the leading causes of slips and falls at churches? A. Uneven surfaces, unexpected obstacles on walking surfaces, and ice or water on walking surfaces. Q. What safety precautions should be taken before worship and special events at your church to prevent slips and falls? A. Ushers and volunteers should inspect premises for burnt out light bulbs or walkway obstructions and if hazards are found, they should be corrected immediately or precautions should be taken to protect the public from the slip and fall hazard. Q. What type of floor covering offers the best slip resistance? A. Carpet Q. What safety precautions should be followed concerning the use of stepladders? A. The top two steps of a stepladder should never be used and the stepladder should be equipped with at least two automatic locking mechanisms of an approved design. Q. Before using any ladder, it should be inspected to identify what type of faults? A. Loose or missing rungs, cleats, or bracing, cracked, broken, split, dented, or badly worn rungs, cleats, or side rails, and missing or damaged side rails or foot pads. Q. The first step in working with ladders is selecting the correct type of ladder to safely perform the task at hand. What precaution is correct when selecting ladders? A. Type III ladders should not be used as they are rated for light duty household use, and if the rating is not found on the ladder, the ladder should be replaced. Q. To prevent slips and falls from your baptistery, what precautions should be taken? A. The surface of the steps leading into and out of the baptistery should be non-slip, handrails should be provided in and out of the baptistery, and the baptistery should be protected from unauthorized access during periods of non-use. Q. At what variance in the level of walking surfaces should action be taken to prevent slips and falls? A. 1/4 inch or greater Q. When should handrails be installed on stairways? A. There are 4 or more steps. Q. What factors are true concerning the use of floor mats for slip and fall prevention? A. Mats should be placed at entrances especially during wet weather conditions. Q. Entrances and exits are high risk areas for accidental falls. What are some of the key areas you should focus on to prevent slips and falls at entrances and exits? A. Doors should open and shut smoothly, the doorsill should be flush with the floor, or there should be no more than a 3/4 inch of variance, and dirt and water deposits will be higher in these locations, making the floor more susceptible to slips and falls. Q. What statements are true concerning interior floor surfaces? A. Hardwood, tile, and vinyl floor surfaces should be cleaned and waxed according to the manufacturer's recommendations to maintain the desired slip resistance rating and carpeting should be free of holes, rips, or seams that may have separated. Q. Snow removal should occur when accumulation is how deep? A. 1 inch or greater, or if ice conditions are present. Q. To prevent slips and falls from electrical, telephone, and microphone cords, what safety precautions should be followed? A. These cords should be routed around walkways and doorways, or adequately taped to the floor, or provided with cord protectors and signs should be installed warning people of the hazard. Q. When using an outside contractor to perform snow and ice removal: A. The contractor should provide you with a certificate of insurance that names the church as an additional insured under the contractor's insurance policy and a written contract should be used with a hold harmless/indemnification clause included. Q. What statements are correct for the use of a snow and ice removal log? A. It can be a good defense to claims that your church was negligent in snow or ice removal and this should only be adopted into your policies and procedures if it is consistently used to document all aspects of snow and ice removal operations. Q. What special precautions are needed for dealing with wet surfaces? A. Employees and volunteers should be trained to identify wet conditions and clean up spills immediately, equipment and supplies should be on hand to effectively deal with the wet conditions, and gutter downspouts should not drain onto walking surfaces. Q. When inspecting stairs and stairways, what should you look for in the prevention of slips and falls? A. Stairways and landings should be kept clear of storage.