Slips, Trips and Falls
The majority of slips happen when floors become wet or and most trips are down to poor housekeeping.
The solutions to these hazards are usually simple and cost-effective. A basic risk assessment will help to identify what you should do to tackle slips and trips hazards.
Why is dealing with slips and trips important?
Slips and trips are one of the most common causes of injury at work. On average, they cause over a third of all serious injuries and often lead to other accidents, such as falls or falls onto machinery.
Slips and trips also account for half of all injuries to members of the public in workplaces where there is public access, such as shops and restaurants.
Slip and trip accidents happen can be caused by a number of reasons. The following 5 factors are the usual suspects that contribute to these accidents. One or more of these factors may play a part in any slip accident.
Contamination is usually involved in all slip accidents. This is anything that ends up on a floor for example rain, oil, dust. If a floor has a smooth surface, for example standard vinyl, the smallest amount of contamination can create a slip hazard.
People or human factors
How people behave in the work environment can create slips and trips hazards.
- Spillages should be dealt with rather than waiting for someone else to clean it.
- Employees must wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) if required.
- Rushing or carrying large objects prevents employees from seeing where they are going.
The floor in a workplace must be suitable for the type of work activity taking place on it. This is a requirement of health and safety law. Employees must should be able to move around safely. If a floor is likely to become contamination, employees should still be able to walk on it without the risk of slipping.
Environmental issues can create hazards likely to lead to slips and trips, so it is important to take them into consideration.
- A bright environment (Too much light) can create glare and prevent people from seeing hazards on the floor and stairs
- A dark environment will also prevent employees from spotting hazards
- Unfamiliar and loud noises may be distracting
- Rainwater is a common cause of accidents. Make sure good entrance design is implanted and that they are maintained
- Cold weather (frost) may create slippery surfaces
- Condensation may make a smooth floor slippery
In order to prevent these accidents you’ll need to think about what might cause slips or trips in your workplace. You must then decide whether you are doing enough to prevent them. When you have identified the risks you must control them. Main preventative measues will include;
- Prevent floors from getting wet in the first place
- Identify procedures for responsive cleaning as well as a routine cleaning schedule
- Clean up spills quickly.
- Stop anyone walking on recently cleaned floors if they are still wet.
- Be aware of trip hazards, e.g. uneven floors, trailing cables
- Encourage good housekeeping by your workers
- Make sure your flooring is suitable.
Slips trips and falls and many other essential topics are covered in our Online Health and Safety course. Find out more here.
If you have any comments about our Health and Safety Handbook please use our contact page.