GTG G6 Slips and Trips

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1. Introduction

Slips and trips are the single most common cause of injuries at work and account for one third of the major injuries at work reported each year.  They can also act in combination with other hazards such as falls from height, or manual handling to cause serious injury.

2. Nature of the Hazards

Slipping and tripping hazards can arise from a multitude of factors including:

- Spillages

- Trailing cables

- Accumulations of rubbish and debris

- Worn-out or insecure rugs or mats

- Inadequate lighting

- Slippery surfaces

- Unsuitable footwear

- Changes in levels

3. Duties and Responsibilities

Slipping and tripping hazards should be considered within the risk assessment process with particular attention devoted to those areas where a major injury could result.  Close involvement of employees can be particularly effective in identifying these hazards and monitoring the effects of control measures.

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations require floors to be suitable, in good condition and free from obstructions, enabling people to move around safely.

4. Controlling the Risk

Good housekeeping to minimise spillages and keep surfaces clean and free from obstructions, together with good maintenance and rectification of defects will go a long way towards controlling risks.

Existing flooring may be treated to improve its anti-slip properties.  Staircases should have at least one handrail.

Where specialised footwear is required to deal with slipping hazards this is regarded as personal protective equipment and must be provided free of charge.

Highlighting changes in levels should be readily apparent through good lighting and high visibility tread nosings.

See below for sources of further information on particular slips and trips issues.

5. Further Information

Slips and trips: Guidance for employers on identifying hazards and controlling risks.  HSG155. HSE  [Appendix 3 in particular contains a useful comprehensive list of references, including relevant British Standards]

Preventing slips and trips at work. INDG225.  Free from HSE website.

HSE Slips and Trips website  

This information is copright of the BMF July 2009 and must not be re-published