Slips and trips - latest guidance

Over a third of all major injuries reported each year in the UK are caused as a
result of a slip or trip (the single most common cause of injuries at work).
These cost employers over £512 million a year in lost production and other
costs. Slips and trips also account for over half of all reported injuries to
members of the public.

Anyone at work, but particularly employers, can help to reduceslip and trip
hazards through good health and safety arrangements. Effective solutions are
often simple, cheap and lead to other benefits.

Preventing slips and trips advocates all 3 of the following control measures:

  • management systems;
  • contamination control - preventing contamination, choosing the right cleaning
    method and ensuring cleaning does not introduce an additional slip risk; and
  • obstacle removal.

All employers have to assess the risks to employees and others who may be
affected by their work, eg visitors and members of the public. This helps to
find out what needs to be done to control the risk. It is also needed to
satisfy the law.

The British HSE recommend a five-step approach to risk assessment, and slip and
trip risks should be among the risks examined.

Step 1

Look for slip and trip hazards around the workplace, such as uneven floors,
trailing cables, areas that are sometimes slippery due to spillages. Include
outdoor areas.

Step 2

Decide who might be harmed and how? Who comes into the workplace? Are they at
risk? Do you have any control over them? Remember that older people and people
with disabilities may be at particular risk.

Step 3

Consider the risks. Are the precautions already taken adequate to deal with the

Step 4

Record your findings if you have five or more employees.

Step 5

Regularly review the assessment. If any significant changes take place, make
sure existing precautions and management arrangements are still adequate to
deal with the risks.

Further info

AplusA-online.de - Source: Health and Safety Executive