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Always Clean Your Spills at Work

Always Clean Your Spills at Work

Post By: Celeste McLaughlin, Ergonomics Manager
Produced by: Solutions Northwest, Inc. (Ergonomics Experts serving Washington, Oregon, and Arcata California)

Ergonomics Tips: Always Clean Spills at Work to Avoid Slip and Fall Injury

According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), most general industry incidents involve slips, trips, and falls. 

We’ve all had our clumsy spills in the office, but it’s important to understand that cleaning a spill is serious business. It may be tempting to leave the small spill for the janitor to find, but that small spill could lead to a major slip and fall injury.

According to the National Safety Council (2011), “research finds that ‘fall from the same level injury’ is one of the highest injury causes” in the workplace.

Ergonomics Consultants | Solutions Northwest Inc.

Stay proactive at the office

Always clean up spills that you see, even if it wasn’t your fault. Stay proactive, clean all spills immediately, and post proper hazard signs on wet surfaces that are being cleaned to prevent slips.

Also, be mindful that not all slips will come from spilt beverages, so it is important to keep an eye out for them while you walk around the office.

For example, wet floors from rain, exposed cords, unstable work surfaces, uneven floors, loose rugs, cluttered areas, or even dusty areas may cause employees to slip and injure themselves.

To prevent tripping, be sure not to allow any clutter (like boxes) to enter any walking paths of the office. Be sure that all tripping hazards like phone or electrical cables are properly installed and tucked away.

Make sure your HR Department has an office safety plan

OSHA mandates that employers shall provide a training program for each employee who might be exposed to fall hazards, so make sure your Human Resources department has developed an office safety plan.

Every office safety plan should be reviewed annually and updated whenever changes in procedures or the office environment could create new hazards or impact existing ones.

Additionally, posting reminders near food and drink stations is a great idea.

In conclusion, stay educated.

Stay educated by researching common office safety hazards to help prevent work related injuries. To learn more about work safety issues, visit us at or Contact Us for more information.

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Stay Safe in the Industrial Warehouse Plant: Warehouse Slip and Fall

Stay Safe in the Industrial Warehouse Plant: Warehouse Slip and Fall

Produced by: Solutions Northwest, Inc. (Ergonomics Experts serving Kent, Renton, Seattle, and Tacoma Washington, California, and Oregon.

Warehouse Ergonomics, Avoid Slip and Fall Injury

5.5 injuries occur per 100 full-time warehouse and storage workers every year. – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

Slip and fall injuries are too common

It is important to be mindful of your surroundings when you work in an industrial plant or warehouse. According to the 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, 1 in 4 accidents in the warehousing and storage industry occur when employees fall, trip, or slip.

A few common reasons workers may fall, slip, or trip in the workplace are:

  • Accumulations of dust or powder on floor
  • Uneven walking surfaces
  • Electrical cords and hoses positioned across walkways
  • Loose flooring, carpeting or mats
  • Missing or uneven floor tiles and bricks
  • Damaged or irregular steps with no handrails
  • Shoes with wet, muddy, greasy or oily soles
  • General clutter
  • Open desk or file cabinet drawers
  • Damaged ladder steps
  • Ramps with no skid-resistant surfaces

3 Quick Tips to Avoid Slips and Falls in the Warehouse

  1. Establish good housekeeping habitsEmployees should be encouraged to keep their area clean and free of clutter. It may help to assign cleaning as a daily task for specific employees to ensure that cleaning becomes a daily routine.Keeping the plant clean and organized will not only prevent injury, but it will also help keep the work efficient.


  1. Organize your surroundings

    Be mindful of any equipment that requires wires or hoses to be in a walkway, this equipment should be covered with protectors to prevent tripping.All walkways and docks over four feet should have railing. And be sure to keep all areas well lit – if it is difficult to see, then it is more likely for a worker not to see potential hazards in their way.


  1. Reduce slippery or wet surfaces outside of the floor

    While cleaning the warehouse floor seems like a given, it is important to control other indoor and outdoor surfaces. For example, wet or rainy weather from outside can be tracked inside, therefore it is important to keep parking lots and sidewalks clean.Provide moisture-absorbent mats and display “Wet Floor” signs as needed. Don’t forget about kitchen areas, be sure to use proper area rugs or mats.

In conclusion

Stay vigilant when it comes to avoiding slip and fall injuries in the warehouse. Don’t hesitate to consult with an ergonomics expert to assess your warehouse to keep your employee’s workplace safe.

For more ergonomics tips, visit and subscribe to our blog.  provides work place and ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., an ergonomics assessment provider located in Seattle, Kent, Renton, Tacoma, Washington State, Northern California, Oregon, Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma, and Portland.


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Why Shower Grab Bars are for Everyone-Prevent Slip and Fall Injuries

Why Shower Grab Bars are for Everyone-Prevent Slip and Fall Injuries

Shower Grab Bars Ergonomics

By Celeste McLaughlin, Ergonomics Manager
Solutions Northwest, Inc. – San Diego, California

I used to think grab bars in the shower were just for the elderly and disabled. I’ve changed my mind. Grab bars are a good idea to have in every shower. The number of pro athletes who have been injured by falling in the shower goes to show that even if you are in peak physical condition, it can happen to you.

Reds’ Raisel Iglesias injured back and elbow in shower |

Falcons’ Tevin Coleman is in the league’s concussion protocol. The rookie third-round pick slipped in the shower Wednesday at the team facility.

Dolphins’ Laremy Tunsil’s ankle injury caused by slipping in shower

That’s not even a complete list of all the pro players who have been injured by slip and fall accidents in the shower.

When we first bought our house, we did some major remodeling. One thing I wanted to do was take out the institutional looking grab bars in the guest bathroom’s shower. The contractors told me I would have to re-tile the entire bathroom to do it, so I decided to leave the grab bars in there for now and just put up a shower curtain. Below is a picture. Architectural Digest, it is not.

As I lived with this grab bar situation, I realized that while it was not attractive, it had some perks. I could hang a wash cloth on it like a towel bar. I could put a bottle of dog shampoo on the bottom bar while my dog was wiggling around and trying to escape. If I started to slip in the shower, I could grab it to stop a fall. If I did fall, I could pull myself back up with it. If I wanted to stay in this house as I age, like the Age In Place movement promotes, it’s a smart idea.

I started thinking that I liked having grab bars in showers, I just didn’t like how the grab bars in my shower looked. Manufacturers must have caught on that people like me wanted attractive grab bars, because there are great options available now. Many new models of grab bars look like towel bars, shelves, and shower door handles. They come in finishes to match existing bathroom fixtures such as chrome, nickel, and ORB. They look nothing like the institutional grab bars which are in my shower.

Here are links to attractive grab bars:

Moen Grab Bars

Delta Grab Bars

Kohler Grab Bars

With new grab bar designs, a safe shower can look like it came from the pages of House Beautiful. There are other safety considerations such as the best way to install grab bars and the slip resistance rating of tiles, but I’ll save that for another day.

P.S. The funniest sports injury I came across while researching for this article was from Steve the Ump’s List of Strange Sports Injuries. “Red Sox rookie Clarence Blethen thought he looked older and meaner if he took his false teeth out when he pitched. He forgot to put them back in his mouth when he was batting. While sliding into second base to break up a double play, his own teeth bit himself in the butt.”

For more guidance on all things Ergonomics, visit or Contact Us for more information.

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