The workplace is full of tripping hazards. In fact, falls, slips, and trips are responsible for over a third of all reported major injuries in the workplace. But there is one preventive measure all employers can take to ensure everyone stays safe at work – implementing universal design solutions.
Universal design is an approach to design that considers the needs of all users. It’s not just about making things accessible for people with disabilities. It’s about making them more user-friendly for all.
Some simple universal design solutions that can help prevent slips and falls in the workplace include:
- Managing cords and cables. Cords and cables are universal tripping hazards and common hazards in the workplace. When remodeling a workspace, UD designers meet with architects and builders to ensure all electronics can be plugged in unobtrusively, without the use of extension cords.
- Display signage. Signs are an effective way to alert people to potential hazards. But a sign is only efficient if an entire workforce can see it and understand it. So, use distinct, contrasting colors, be clear and concise with your message, use tactile or raised lettering, be clear and concise with your message, use tactile or raised lettering, and place signs at eye level, where they’ll be most visible.
- Flooring. Flooring is another culprit of slips and falls in the workplace, and one that’s often overlooked. To make floors safer, choose anti-slip non-reflective flooring materials and contrasting colors and textures. And, ensure all floor finishes are flush with each other.
- Lighting. Good lighting is essential for preventing slips and falls. It’s important to have enough light so people can see clearly during the day and at night, and to place lights where they’re needed most – like in dark corners or near stairways. It’s also important to make sure light switches are accessible so everyone can turn them on and off.
By implementing universal design strategies, you can help prevent slips and falls in your work environment. By making your workplace more accessible and user-friendly, you’ll also create a safer, more inclusive, and more productive environment for everyone.
Are you ready to create a safer more user-friendly workspace? It’s a great step to take as part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Reach out to my team and me. We can evaluate your situation and provide tips for designing a space that’s inclusive and safe for all.