How to Prevent Slips, Trips and Falls
Good Practice on Workplace Health and Safety
Slips, trips and falls are a major cause of injury in the workplace. For any organisation with significant footfall, the risk of injury to employees and visitors is a significant concern, particularly where unsafe conditions exist. It is often thought that slips, trips and falls 'just happen,' but there are a number of actions that can be taken to prevent them.
The risks associated with slips, trips and falls are numerous, so it is important to understand where the greatest potential for danger lies. Some slips, trips and falls hazards include:
- Slippery surfaces, such as polished tiles.
- Broken or uneven surfaces.
- Wet and slippery surfaces caused by adverse weather, spills or poor drainage.
- Poorly marked and poorly lit walkways.
Managing the Risks of Slips, Trips and Falls
The following steps should be taken to keep the walkways safe:
- Choose appropriate slip resistant flooring and drainage for the environmental conditions that will be present.
- Do not wax, polish or treat floors in any way that compromises their slip resistance.
- Clean up spills immediately and put a wet floor sign up until the area is dry.
- In wet weather, ensure that walk off mats are provided and kept in good condition to avoid becoming a trip hazard.
- Keep walkways clear to avoid trip hazards.
- Ensure aisles and passageways are adequately illuminated.
- Regularly inspect and maintain all floor surfaces.
Reporting and Investigating Incidents
Even in the best run businesses, incidents can happen. The actions you take after an incident can make a big difference to preventing future incidents or potential exposure to any liability. Some key considerations include:
- Accurately document the circumstances of the incident, including taking relevant photographs, or reviewing CCTV footage.
- Make a note of any witnesses and take witness accounts.
- Record any relevant environmental details, for example wet surfaces, weather conditions and uneven floors.
- Take any remedial actions, based upon the findings.
For more information, sign up to our Risk Academy, log in to the Risk Control Customer Portal, or email RCEUROPE@travelers.com
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