Slips, Trips & Falls

According to the Health and Safety Executive, slips, trips and falls are the single most common cause of major incidents in UK workplaces, accounting for 29% of all reported specified (major) injuries in 2018/19. 

Legal Duties 

The key areas of health and safety law relevant to slips, trips and falls are: 

• The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA). 

• The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. 

• The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. 

• The Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977. 

• Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957. 

The key risk factors are: 

• Poor lighting that prevents people seeing obstructions, slippery surfaces etc. 

• Damaged or incorrect flooring. 

• Obstructions and objects left lying around. 

• Inappropriate footwear. 

Employer recommendations: 

• Assess the risks to workers, decide how significant the risks are, prevent or control the risks and develop a clear management plan. 

• Consult with the workforce and their representatives about risk assessments and actions. 

• Ensure everyone is aware of the risk assessments and procedures in place. 

Control methods or risk reduction techniques must be used to: 

• Ensure conditions are correct from the start. Ensure flooring and lighting are fit for purpose and have the appropriate surface roughness characteristics. 

• Provide staff with information and training on good working practice. 

• Adopt a programme of planned preventative maintenance and undertake repairs when identified. 

• Where floors may become wet or contaminated, ensure they are regularly inspected and dried immediately. 

• Ensure spillages are promptly cleaned up. 

• Ensure appropriate signage is displayed when areas are being cleaned and removed when the floor can be used normally. 

• Ensure all accidents are investigated and staff made aware of the findings and actions taken.