One of the most common ways in which people get hurt in the workplace or at home is due to a slip, trip or fall. Most people can recall a time they were involved in one of the above; hopefully, you only experienced a bruised ego.

Advice on how to avoid slips, trips and falls is detailed below.

In general, slips and trips occur due to a loss of traction between the shoe and the walking surface or unintended contact with a fixed or moveable object, which can lead to a fall. There are a number of situations, which could lead to a slip, trip or fall such as:

  • Uneven walking surfaces
  • Loose flooring, carpeting or mats
  • Transition from one floor type to another
  • Damaged or irregular steps/ no handrails
  • Wet, muddy, oily or greasy shoes
  • Poor housekeeping / clutter
  • Electrical cords or cables
  • Open desk or file cabinet drawers
  • Damaged ladder steps
  • Ramps without slip-resistant surfaces
  • Weather hazards – rain, sleet, ice, snow, hail & frost
  • Wet leaves or pine needles
  • Poor lighting

Looking to prevent these occurring will help create a safe working environment within your premises.

The following guidance will reduce the likelihood of an accident occurring.

Good housekeeping

Safety and housekeeping go hand in hand, if your premises housekeeping habits are poor employees are more likely come across some of the above hazards resulting in greater likelihood of a slip trip or fall. To improve premises housekeeping, all work areas, walkways storerooms and service areas are to be kept clean and tidy.

Avoid placing cords, cables or hoses across hallways or in aisles, if this can't be avoided look to carry these activities out during times where the building is not busy, or place a covering over them.

Encourage safe working practice such as closing drawers and picking up loose items from the floor. Remember ensuring people are safe in the workplace is everyone's responsibility.

Reduce wet or slippery surfaces

Keep walkways and paths clean and clear from clutter and foliage. Keep paths clear from snow and ice where possible, ensuring to have a suitable winter maintenance program in place for the premises.

Prevent floors from becoming contaminated by using entrance matting and fix leaks externally or internally when identified. Clean up spills immediately and where required display "Wet Floor" signs.

Create and maintain proper lighting

Poor lighting levels in the workplace will increase the risk of accidents occurring. Ensure working areas are well lit and clean. If any lights are broken or damaged report them to property services to have them repaired.

Sensible footwear

The shoes you wear can play a big part in preventing slips, trips and falls, ensure soles are suitable for your working area and any laces are properly tied. If provided with safety footwear as part of your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) ensure it is worn and replaced when required.