Safety Topic: Preventing falls from loss of balance

Nov 24, 2021
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Written by Washington Retail
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To maintain balance, your body uses a complex combination of muscle strength, visual input, and inner ear receptors to send signals to your nerves, muscles, tendons, and ligaments to orient you in relation to other objects. The brain takes all that information and allows you to respond to your environment.

As we age, or if impaired, our receptors can become dull—slowing the information ‘highways’ in our body and diminishing our sense of balance, leading to falls. Prepare for these physical changes in your business with these tips:

  • Stair edges should be colored in yellow or white so that they are more easily visible.
  • Step ladders should have some sort of a handrail to give that third point of contact, giving you more control for balance.
  • Clearly define changes any in floor elevation by marking them in a brighter color. Handrails in those areas are also a big help.
  • Good housekeeping is always a plus! Keep those floors clear and safe for your customers and employees.

Slips and trips will take you off balance and can lead to falls no matter your age. RS SafetyTV has some good videos for your safety meeting.

Members can find additional information on the nuances of the aging workforce can be found on the RS website. These tips will benefit your entire workforce, helping to reduce injuries to them and your customers as well.

Rick Means, Director of Safety and Education, is available to help members draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact Rick at 360-943-9198, Ext. 118 or [email protected].