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Written by
on 19 January 2012


Sometimes people slip over by complete accident, it happens every day. However, when it comes to the workplace many owners think that slips and trips cannot be prevented but this is not the case. It your duty to make sure everything is done to reduce the likelihood of trips such as these, and by ignoring the problem you are opening yourself up to prosecution at the hands of the health and safety executive.

Statistics for Slips Trips and Falls during 2009

During 2009 there were a recorded 10,000 serious injuries caused by slipping over in the workplace and a tragic 4 fatalities.  This loss of lives could have been avoided and has resulted in the loves of their friends and families being affected forever. The injuries also can cause problems for families and the injured person, it also can cost the economy die to all of the extra days off work at a cost of approximately £800,000 000 per year.

Are Slips Mentioned in the Law?

There are a few Acts and Regulations which are relating to slips and trips in the workplace. By failing to meet these you are breaking the law and can be fined in a court of law. The relating regulations are named in the:

  • Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992

What Causes Slips?

There are several ways that slips can be triggered in the workplace. The most common of these are caused by:

  • Inadequate footwear

When you employee people it is important that your employees where suitable footwear. You can also help to reduce the risks of others falling in your premises by making sure the floors are keep clean and dry. In situations where it is difficult to maintain a dry or clean floor anti slip footwear should be worn.

  • People

Encouraging a positive reaction to health and safety in the workplace is a great way of keeping the environment safe. Try and promote your employees to sort out any problems they may see such as spillages and obstacles.

  • The environment

When it comes to workplace slips and trips you need to think of the environment. Do you have good enough lighting? Does the weather cause problems, does the area have high condensation risks or are the noise levels safe?

  • The type of floor

Flooring plays a big part in preventing trips.  The flooring needs to be properly laid and then well maintained to make sure it doesn’t pose any risks. The floor needs to be kept clean and dry were possible and in areas of wetness suitable flooring needs to be laid combined with suitable shoes.

  • Cleaning

When it comes to cleaning you need to have a good management in system to prevent accidents. A suitable method of cleaning, the correct use of products and equipment need to be used and the process should be supervised and carried out at a suitable time. Signs are not able to prevent accidents but should be used to warn others of the possible dangers

  • Obstacles

Obstacles are a common cause of slips and are responsible for approximately 50% of all these types of accidents. Poor housekeeping is a high contributing factor and therefore needs to be well managed to reduce the risks. Encouraging your workers to be responsible for their own areas is also advised and act when noticing problems in any area of the workplace.

Find out more about slips and falls and how to maintain a safe workplace by contacting health and safety consultants. Call 0800 1488 677 to find out how health and safety services can help you to prevent accidents such as slips and trips.

About the author

David Cant is a Director at Veritas Consulting. The SME’s favourite go-to consultant for health and safety know-how. Bucket loads of experience. Fluent in practical advice. Solutionist with a brain you can pick. You can find him across social media on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.