Summary Statement

A handout describing the way that slips, trips and falls tend to happen in roadway work and ways to avoid them. Part of a collection. Click on the 'collection' button to access the other items.

This document is one in a program produced under an OSHA grant by a consortium of the Laborers' Health and Safety Fund N.A, the International Union of Operating Engineers, the American Road and Transportation Builders Assn, and the National Asphalt Pavement Assn. All of the documents from this set that are on eLCOSH can be found by clicking on Job Site, Heavy construction, and scrolling to the Street & highway heading. Or to download a complete version of the computerized program, go to

What Causes Falls in Road Work?
Most are slips or trips on the same level.

Falls on walking and working surfaces
  • Tripping over materials or debris
  • Falling on hills or embankments
  • Stepping in holes or walking on irregular ground
  • Stumbling while carrying loads that block vision
  • Slips or trips in muddy, wet, or icy conditions
Falls from elevations
  • Falls from equipment
  • Falls from bridges
  • Falls from formwork
  • Falls into excavations

How Do We Prevent Falls on Same Level?
There are many methods.

Some remedies include
  • If possible, avoid walking on muddy, wet, or icy surfaces
  • Clear walking/working surfaces of tripping hazards
  • Use footwear with ankle support and soles that grip
  • Include walking routes in site safety plan
  • Don't carry heavy loads, use hauling equipment
  • Practice good housekeeping
  • Fill in or mark hidden holes in ground
Maintain good physical strength and conditioning

How Do We Avoid Falls From Elevations?
There are many methods

Some remedies include
  • 100% fall protection program
  • Plan work for personal fall arrest anchor points or guardrail
  • Erect guardrails around large excavations
  • Seatbelts or restraints for riding in cars, trucks, personnel carriers
  • Use modular erection to avoid work at heights on forms
  • Use 3-point contact