Slips, trips, and falls constitute the majority of general industry accidents – they cause 15 percent of all accidental deaths and are second to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards for walking and working surfaces apply to all permanent places of employment, except where domestic, mining, or agricultural work is performed.

This client handout provides small business owners a means of identifying potential problem areas that may occur with walking/working surfaces. Any question answered “No” should be thoroughly investigated and corrective actions taken.

Questions Yes  No  N/A 
Are floor openings guarded by a cover, a guardrail, or equivalent on all sides?      
Are toeboards installed around the edges of floor openings where persons may pass below?       
Are skylight screens constructed so that they will withstand a load of at least 200 lb (91 kg)?       
Are grates or similar covers over floor openings, such as floor drains, of such design that foot traffic or rolling equipment will not be affected by the grate spacing?      
Are floor or wall openings, in fire resistive construction, provided with doors or covers compatible with the fire rating of the structure and provided with a self-closing feature?      
Are there standard stair rails or handrails on all stairways having four or more risers?       
Are all stairways at least 22 in (55.88 cm) wide?       
Are stair risers of uniform dimensions from top to bottom?      
Are steps on stairs and stairways designed or provided with a surface that renders them slip resistant?       
Do stairway handrails have at least 3 in (7.62 cm) of clearance between the handrails and the wall or surface they are mounted to?      
Are stairway handrails capable of withstanding a load of 200 lbs (91 kg), applied within 2 in (5.08 cm) of the top edge, in any downward or outward direction?       
Where stairs/stairways exit directly into any area where vehicles may be operated, are adequate barriers/warnings provided to prevent employees stepping into the path of traffic?      
Are signs posted, when appropriate, showing the load capacity of elevated surface?       
Is a permanent means of access provided to elevated storage and work surfaces?      
Is the required headroom provided along all walkways?       
Are materials on elevated surfaces piled, stacked, or racked in a manner to prevent them from tipping, falling, collapsing, rolling, or spreading?        
Are dock boards or bridge plates used between docks and trucks or rail cars?      


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