As an Employer the law says
- The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires employers to ensure the health and safety of all employees and anyone affected by their work, so far as is reasonably practicable, which means balancing the level of risk against the measures needed to control the risk in terms of money, time or trouble. This includes taking steps to control slip and trip risks.
- The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require employers to assess risks (including slip and trip risks) and, where necessary, take action to address them.
- The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 require floors to be suitable, in good condition and free from obstructions. People should be able to move around safely.
Focus on the risks that really matter in your workplace – the ones with the potential to cause harm. In many instances, straightforward measures can readily control risks, for example, ensuring spillages are cleaned up promptly so people do not slip or cupboard drawers kept closed to ensure people do not trip. For most, that means simple, cheap and effective measures to ensure your most valuable asset – your workforce – is protected.
Practical steps to prevent slips and trips accidents, there are many simple ways to control slips and trips risks and prevent accidents in your workplace.
Here are a few examples.
- Stop floors becoming contaminated
- Use entrance matting.
- Fix leaks from machinery or buildings.
- Make sure plant and equipment are maintained.
- Design tasks to minimise spillages.
- Plan pedestrian and vehicle routes to avoid contaminated areas.
Use the right cleaning methods
- Make sure that your cleaning method is effective for the type of floor you have.
- Don’t introduce more slip or trip risks while cleaning is being done.
- Leave smooth floors dry after cleaning or exclude pedestrians until the floor is dry.
- Remove spillages promptly.
- Have effective arrangements for both routine cleaning and dealing with spills.
- Use the appropriate detergent mixed at the correct concentration.
Consider the flooring and work environment
- Check for loose, damaged and worn flooring and replace as needed.
- Floors likely to get wet or have spillages on them should be of a type that does not become unduly slippery.
- Make sure lighting is sufficient and that slopes or steps are clearly visible.
- Keep walkways and work areas clear of obstructions.
Get the right footwear
- Where floors cannot be kept clean and dry, slip-resistant footwear can help prevent slip accidents.
- Trial footwear first to make sure it is suitable for the environment and for those who will be wearing it, ie comfort and fit.
- If footwear is supplied as personal protective equipment (PPE), it must be supplied free of charge to employees.
Think about people and organisational factors
- Consider how work is organised and managed, eg to avoid rushing, overcrowding, trailing cables.
- Make sure employees are involved in the decisions that affect them, eg choice of PPE footwear or a change in cleaning methods.