Whether they’re powering our tools of trade or dispensing the essential fluids of manufacture, hoses, cords and cables are the arteries of modern industry.
Yet the all-too-common sight of tangled hose lines and twisted power cables strewn across the factory floor isn’t just a reflection of poor worksite habits; they are a serious and tangible worksite hazard. Indeed, despite strict OH&S guidelines, loose cords and hoses remain a primary cause of ‘trip and slip’ injuries on Australian worksites, resulting in considerable productivity losses and compensatory costs to the business.
As well as being a major worksite impediment, the presence of unwieldy hoses and cords across work surfaces could be in direct breach of existing Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) guidelines.
Beyond the personal responsibility borne by workers to maintain an orderly worksite, the Workplace Health and Safety Act (2011) puts the onus on employers ‘to eliminate health and safety risks… so far as is reasonably practicable.’
This not only means advising workers of potential worksite hazards, but implementing practical solutions to sustain a safe working environment and sound worksite practices.
It is imperative therefore that employers not only appreciate the very real risks of ‘trip and slip’ hazards across the worksite, but take genuine steps to mitigate and, if practical, eliminate on-site safety hazards.
This article will seek to explore these OH&S risks in depth and offer a practical solution to one of the most common, yet frequently overlooked, workplace ‘trip and slip’ hazards.
The Forgotten Toll of Workplace ‘Trip & Slip’ Hazards
‘Trip and slip’ hazards rate among the most prevalent – and underappreciated –injury risks on Australian worksites.
According to Safe Work Australia, trip and slip hazards result in thousands of worksite injuries every year. In NSW alone, over 25,000 workers claimed injury compensation as a result of trips, slips and falls – around one in five of the total claims made – last year.
While we may mock or grimace at our gravity-challenged colleagues, the physical and financial costs of worksite falls are serious, resulting not only in potentially crippling injury, but protracted recuperative expenses for individuals, employers and the community.
Between 2010 and 2011, slips, trips and falls at the workplace accounted for 14,720 claims across NSW: an astronomical $117m borne by the NSW Workers Compensation Scheme. Employers, for their part, were expected to disburse on average $18,900 per incident.
Of course, while we expect such incidents to be restricted to the most physically demanding trades, our increasingly reliance on wired infrastructure means that no industry – whether in the corporate suite or the factory floor – is immune to potential trip and slip hazards.
Work Cover NSW statistics confirm the incidence of ‘trip and slip’ injury claims is indeed a cross-industry phenomenon: 13% Manufacturing, 13% Health and Community Services, 11% Construction and 10% for the Retail Trade.
While the most common trip and slip injuries include cuts, bruises, factures and dislocations, a serious musculoskeletal injury (such as torn muscles / ligaments) has the potential to put workers out of operation for months on end, if not permanently.
Reel Safety, Untangled – An Elegant Solution to an Insidious Worksite Hazard
Today’s range of professional-grade reels offer a simple and elegant solution to overcome one of the most common, and oft-overlooked, workplace hazards: the loose line.
Specially designed for industrial and commercial applications, professional-grade reels enable the swift and seamless release, operation and retraction of hoses and leads even in the most demanding industrial environments. This not only eliminates the very real ‘trip and slip’ hazards of errant hose lines and electrical cords, but will improve the confidence and mobility of workers around the worksite.
Placed in easy-to-reach locations, a quality reel can provide a neat, tangle-resistant, home for your hoses and leads (whether for gas, liquid or electricity), crucial to maintaining an orderly and functional workspace.
With productivity at a premium, reels help workers forgo the daily rigmarole of finding, untangling, re-coiling and replacing workplace hoses and cords. What’s more, proper storage of hoses and cords will increase their material lifespans markedly, saving you on expensive line replacement costs.
As Australasia’s premier manufacturer and supplier of industrial hose reels, Recoila is dedicated to delivering superior quality hose and cord reels for today’s most demanding industries.
Recoila’s extensive range of professional-grade reels – including a select range of spring retractable, hand crank, motor-driven, and custom-made reels – are manufactured for consistent, heavy-duty and long-term use, and are uniquely designed to provide excellent ergonomic support for users.
With a firm commitment to deliver on its safe work credentials, Recoila’s quality reel range will ensure full compliance with today’s strictest WHS safety standards.
To learn more about today’s cutting-edge hose and cord reels, visit Recoila at www.recoila.com.au.