NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Preventing falls from worn steps: a simple fix can prevent a lot of pain.

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
Olympia, WA: Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, 90-54-2010, 2010 Aug; :1
Sometimes a simple repair can be the difference between a successful day at work and a debilitating injury. That said, have you inspected the steps to your cab lately? Are they worn, loose, or broken? Taking the time to maintain your steps is important to your safety and well-being on the job. Replacement steps can add traction and prevent falls in rainy or icy weather. Here are true stories of Washington truck drivers injured after slipping or falling from steps and tips to keep this from happening at your company: 1. Exiting cab for pre-trip inspection. This driver was exiting to do a pre-trip inspection when he slipped on wet steps and fell about three and a half feet. The fall injured his left knee and he was off work for 41 days. 2. Loading cab at beginning of day. A driver with 35 years of experience was loading his cab when his foot slipped off the ripple step. His shoulder was injured as he tried to catch himself by holding onto the hand rail. He lost more than a month of work. 3. Flipping the switch to lower the air bags. This driver was attempting to flip the switch on the dash to lower the airbags at a customer site. He was standing in his size 14 boots on the four-inch wide top step of the truck. It was raining and his boots were slick with mud. A slight pivot to reach the switch caused him to fall four feet to the ground. His attempt to break his fall dislocated his shoulder and tore the tendons in his rotator cuff. His claim cost more than $35,000 and he lost almost 6 months of work. 4. Exiting cab to disconnect trailer. The truck driver/supervisor of a multi-state, interstate carrier was injured when his foot slipped off an icy step while he was exiting the cab to disconnect the trailer. He fell four feet, landing on his back and shoulder. These injuries cost him 13 days of work. TIPS TO LIVE BY: If your truck steps are worn, consider the benefits of replacement steps before the winter weather begins. Wear sturdy footwear with good traction. Maintain 3 points-of-contact when entering or exiting the cab.
Injuries; Injury-prevention; Workers; Work-environment; Humans; Men; Women; Exposure-levels; Risk-factors; Training; Education; Trucking; Drivers; Fall-protection; Personal-protection; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Safety-education; Hazards
SHARP Program, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, PO Box 44330, Olympia, WA 98504-4330
Publication Date
Document Type
Email Address
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Source Name
Preventing falls from worn steps: a simple fix can prevent a lot of pain
Performing Organization
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
Page last reviewed: September 24, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division