New resource to prevent workplace falls


Workplace falls are both common and preventable. At the UW, the category “slips/trips/falls” has been among the top three leading causes of injuries to UW personnel every year from 2018 to 2021. Falls from heights is the second-leading cause of unintentional workplace death in the U.S. 

EH&S has a new Prevent Workplace Falls webpage with information and resources for UW personnel to recognize hazards and reduce the risk of injuries that can occur after falling from a height and from slipping or tripping. Resources include:

  • Best practices to prevent falling from a height, including using ladders properly, inspecting fall protection equipment before use, and using an Inspection Checklist to help identify potential areas of concern
  • Tips for preventing slips and trips that can lead to a fall; good housekeeping, quality of walking surfaces (flooring), and proper footwear are critical for preventing fall incidents.

Units and departments can use the Walking-Working Surfaces Inspection Checklist to identify areas or conditions for potential slip and trip hazards, especially in office and general work areas.

Read the frequently asked questions on the Prevent Workplace Falls webpage, including:

  • What fall-related incidents have occurred at the UW?
  • How can we prevent falls in offices?
  • What if I need to reach an item that is very high?
  • Can I use climbing equipment when I need fall protection at work or in my research?

If you see a hazard on campus that could lead to a fall:

  • Contact your facilities department.
  • Notify your supervisor.
  • Contact your Building Coordinator.
  • Anonymously report your safety concern to EH&S.
  • If you are able and knowledgeable, correct the issue yourself. (An example would be cleaning your work area to remove trip hazards.)

Refer to the UW Fall Protection Program Manual for information and resources to address potential fall hazards, and contact the EH&S Occupational Safety & Health team at 206.543.7388 for more information.