Over a third of all major injuries reported each year are caused as a result of a slip or trip. 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. The acts that apply are:
- 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
Employers have to ensure their employees and anyone else who could be affected by their work (such as visitors, members of the public) are kept safe from harm and that their health is not affected. This means slip and trips risks must be controlled to ensure people do not slip, trip and fall.
- Employees must use any safety equipment provided and must not cause danger to themselves or others.
- Manufacturers and suppliers have a duty to ensure that their products are safe. They must also provide information about appropriate use.
- Employers must assess risks (including slip and trip risks) and where necessary take action to safeguard health and safety.
- Floors should be suitable for the workplace and work activity, kept in good condition and kept free from obstructions.
What should you consider?
- Provide Non-slip floorings in areas that can’t be kept dry and use cordless tools to avoid trailing cables across working areas.
- Organisation Workers need to be involved and committed to reducing risks. Give employees responsibilities to ensure that areas of the workplace are kept safe, eg getting spillages and objects cleaned up quickly, keeping access routes clear and ensuring lighting is maintained.
- Keep a record of who is responsible for which arrangements; take special care to include cleaning and other contractors. Make these details clear to everyone.
- The business should have a safe management system in place to prevent slip, trips and falls in the workplace.
- Identify key areas of risk through risk assessment. Careful selection of materials, equipment and work practices can prevent or contain slip and trip hazards from liquids, fine powders and objects.