Slips, trips, and falls constitute the majority of general industry accidents. They cause 15 percent of all accidental deaths, second only to motor vehicles. Our Slip, Trip, and Fall Prevention Toolbox Talk provides a summary of preventative measures you can take to reduce your risk.

As an employer, it is important to inspect walking-working surfaces regularly and as necessary, and to maintain their safe condition. Hazardous conditions on walking-working surfaces must be corrected or repaired before employee use, and the hazard must be guarded to prevent employees from using the walking-working surface until it is corrected.


There is a significant risk of falling if portable ladders are not safely positioned each time they are used. Unsecured ladders can slip or shift because of the weight load or lack of friction between the ladder and contact points. It is very easy to lose your balance while getting on or off an unsteady ladder. Be sure to evaluate the situation; do not use a ladder on slippery surfaces unless it is secured or has slip-resistant feet.

Before using a ladder, a competent person must inspect the ladder for visible defects, such as broken or missing rungs. If a defective ladder is found, it must be immediately marked with a defective sign or clearly labeled with a “Do Not Use” sign. It should then be taken from service until it is completely repaired. When a ladder is placed for use, employers must ensure:

  • Ladder rungs, steps, and cleats are parallel, level, and uniformly spaced.
  • Wooden ladders are not coated with any material that can hide structural defects.
  • Metal ladders are protected against corrosion.
  • Ladder surfaces have no puncture or laceration hazards.
  • Ladders are used as designed.
  • Ladders are inspected before use during each work shift, and more frequently as necessary.
  • Ladders with structural or other defects are immediately tagged to not be used.
  • Employees face the ladder when climbing up or down.
  • Employees use at least one hand to grasp the ladder when climbing up and down it.
  • Employees do not carry an object or load that could cause him/her to lose balance.

Our safety consultants are available to assist with assessing walking-working surface and fall protection risk areas within your facility or workplace. Please contact Kelly Kramer, CECD, HEM, at 800.738.8395 for more information.

Additional Offerings

Safety training and consulting are only some of RETTEW’s 600+ services. Our safety team works hand in hand with engineers, scientists, project managers, and other technical experts at places such as manufacturing facilities, drill pads, and commercial construction sites. We are well respected in many industries and known for ensuring workers and equipment remain safe, which keeps your projects on track and your bottom line growing.