Slips and trips are the most common workplace hazards totalling a third of all major injuries sustained. In 2010, over 10,000 people suffered a major injury as a result of a slip or trip in the workplace and 95% of major slips result in broken bones.
Most slips occur in wet/contaminated environments and most trips are due to poor housekeeping. The solutions are often simple and cost effective; a suitable assessment of the risks should identify the necessary controls. A list of these can be found on the HSE website Why Does it Matter?'
To gain an idea of how compliant your business is currently in this regard complete our brief self-assessment checklist on The Workplace Item B.
The primary reason to address the issue of slips and trips is to protect your employees and yourself. However, as an employer you are also required to do so by law under the following:
- 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)
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 build on the requirements of The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act (1974) and include duties on employers to assess risks (including slip and trip risks) and where necessary take action to safeguard health and safety.
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 also requires floors to be suitable for the purpose for which they are used and in good repair. Traffic routes shall be kept free from obstructions and from any article or substance which may cause a person to slip, trip or fall.
For further guidance see the Health & Safety Executive leaflet 'Preventing Slips and Trips at Work'
The Approved Code of Practice for The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992