Slips Trips and Falls

Slips, Trips and Falls

Slips, Trips and Falls

Approximately 1 in 4 accidents reported to HSA annually are attributable to slips, trips or falls and such hazards can equally affect both employees and non-employees. Employers must ensure that where possible the hazard is eliminated or at a minimum controls to reduce the risk for slips, trips and falls are implemented and maintained.

Hazard Identified: Slips

Examples of how slips may occur include:

  • Wet floor surfaces
  • Ice forming outside work premises
  • Fats, oils and other contaminants on floor surfaces
  • Rugs and mats on polished floors and slipping on poorly secured carpets
  • Slipping in baths, showers etc.
  • Inappropriate footwear

Examples of control measures:

  • In the first instance, floor surfaces with good grip should be laid where possible but should also be able to be hygienically cleaned
  • The risk of any contaminants that may be spilled onto the floor should be eliminated where possible
  • Leaking pipes etc., should be fixed and adequately maintained
  • Contaminants should be cleaned off the floor immediately. Where they cannot be removed immediately, safety signs should be placed on the floor to warn persons of the slipping hazard
  • Those persons who clean the floors must be informed and trained to know what cleaning products they can safely use on the various floor surfaces
  • Procedures should be in place to grit and salt outside areas of the workplace to reduce the risk of persons and vehicles slipping on ice or compacted snow
  • Measures should be taken to stop ice forming on the floors of freezer/refrigeration units
  • Floors should have effective drainage in wet areas
  • Pedestrian walkways should be kept clear of any materials and be kept separate from workstations
  • Steps and steep slopes should be clearly marked and handrails provided
  • Safety signs should be placed in bathrooms/shower rooms to warn of slipping hazards within these areas. Staff should supervise elderly care home residents when in bathrooms/shower rooms
  • Leather soled shoes or very high heels should be avoided in many workplaces; appropriate footwear for the work conditions should be worn instead
  • All workers must receive suitable and sufficient information, instruction and training in all of the above control measures

Hazard Identified: Trips

Examples of how trips may occur include:

  • Cables, hosepipes, ropes, etc., left across walkways
  • Uneven, loose floor surfaces
  • Small items left on the floor/accumulation of rubbish
  • Poor lighting (including dazzling lighting and strobe lighting etc)
  • Low barriers
  • Loose mats, rugs and carpets
  • Inappropriate footwear

Examples of control measures:

  • Floors should be in good condition and regularly maintained
  • Uneven and loose flooring should be repaired immediately
  • Those objects that cannot be removed from floors should be secured in place by sticking them firmly to the floor and warning persons by using appropriate safety signs
  • Cables, hosepipes and similar objects lying on floor surfaces should be removed where possible
  • Waste materials should not be allowed to accumulate; they should be removed on a daily basis
  • Low lighting levels and glare from lighting can cause persons to trip and injure themselves. Those persons entering these situations must be warned about any tripping hazards they may encounter because of the lighting used, e.g. in cinemas and nightclubs

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