Follow the Three-Point Technique to Avoid Falls

Slips, trips and falls are a common workplace injury, especially when mounting or dismounting vehicles and other types of industrial equipment. Poor weather, slippery steps and handles, rough terrain or even a simple miscalculation are likely to increase the risk of falls even more. Many people injure their ankles, knees, arms or back from falls and a severe one could even be fatal. However, you can help reduce this type of injury by using this simple, effective, three-point technique.

What is the three-point technique?

The three-point technique means keeping at least three points of contact with the vehicle or equipment at all times. The three points of contact are limbs – hands and feet, so the three points of contact can be both feet and a hand, or both hands and a foot. By keeping three points of contact, it keeps the maximum amount of support and stability possible, significantly reducing the likelihood of slips and falls. To use this technique you will need to face the equipment, so it means there can be no sliding in or out of seats or jumping off equipment.

Other steps to prevent mounting/dismounting injuries

Although the three-point technique is the most important rule for mounting/dismounting a vehicle or piece of equipment, there are more ways to lower risks even further.

Employers can do these things:

  1. Train workers to safely mount and dismount equipment, including the three-point technique
  2. Regularly inspect and maintain all pallet trucks, trolleys and machinery
  3. Regularly inspect and maintain all contact surfaces, grab rails and steps
  4. Provide platform step ladders and stools , anti-slip matting , and grab rails where necessary
  5. Use signs and labels in prominent and relevant positions that remind workers to use safety methods
  6. Provide maintenance platforms when servicing elevated vehicles and equipment

Workers can do these things:

  1. Keep steps, ladders, and standing surfaces dry and free of mud and debris
  2. Report any damage immediately
  3. Use supplied step stools, ladders and other approved equipment
  4. Never use tyres, wheel hubs or other unapproved equipment as a step surface
  5. Do not use the steering wheel, door edge or door frame as a grab rail
  6. Wear slip-resistant footwear
  7. Do not rush when climbing in or out of vehicles or equipment
  8. Climb down slowly to avoiding straining a muscle
  9. Take extra care in wet, humid, or icy conditions
  10. Do not carry anything in your hands when climbing
  11. Keep a firm grip on handles and rails
  12. Look before exiting and never jump

Habits can be difficult to break, but following the three-point technique and applying these general safety tips will reduce the likelihood of slips and falls.