Employers and employees have duties under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 to ensure that workplace risks are controlled so that people do not slip or trip.
12 Tips for Managing Slips and Trips in your Workplace
- Carry out a risk assessment of slip and trip risks in consultation with employees. This will enable you to highlight any potential hot spots within the organisation. Consider the design and layout of work areas, activities carried out in the work area and procedures for carrying out specific tasks. Don’t forget to include outside areas, including car parks, entrances, etc.
- Ensure safe systems of work are in place which take into account slips and trips. Workers and management should receive training on understanding the risks of slips and trips and know how to prevent them.
- Encourage the reporting of accidents and near misses by staff to help identify slip and trip black spots. Give feedback on actions taken.
- Arrange for regular workplace inspections and pay particular attention to floors, stairs, tasks, lighting, general housekeeping and cleaning methods, personal protective equipment and variations in conditions at different times of the day.
- Keep work areas clean and tidy, with floors and access routes clear of obstacles or obstructions. Encourage a ‘see it, sort it’ mentality amongst staff.
- Ensure rubbish is regularly removed to a designated area outside the building.
- Provide good lighting levels, without shadows or glare, particularly on stairways.
- Ensure flooring is level and is checked regularly for damage. Loose carpets or mats should be removed or affixed. Changes of gradient should be highlighted and slippery surfaces should be treated with non-slip coating.
- Provide handrails to all stairways and ensure stair nosings are colour-contrasted to prevent slips.
- Staff should be advised to clean up spillages immediately. Make sure signs are used when floors are wet or cleaning is taking place.
- Cables should not trail across walkways. Cable ties, walkover mats and cable managers should be provided.
- Workers should wear footwear which has been selected through risk assessment and with regard to its slip-resistant properties.
Managing the risks of slips and trips will create a safer workplace. Take action now to ensure the safety of your workforce and reduce criminal and civil litigation costs.
Contact us if you require information.