Slips Cost £73m

19 July 2019

H&S slips trips falls
New research by Safety Services Direct states employers spend over £73million annually on employee leave due to slips, trips and falls in the workplace.

During 2017/2018, 31% of all non-fatal workplace injuries were caused by slips, trips and falls.

The Health & Safety Executive reported 75% of all self-reported incidents result in up to seven days of absence, meaning employees are on leave for almost 130,000 days annually.

The irony is that slip, trip and fall injuries are some of the easiest to prevent in the workplace. There are measures which can be put into place to significantly reduce these risks such as:

1.  Keep walking surfaces clean and avoid cluttering
When walkways are clear, the risk of injury greatly reduces.  With an unobstructed path, the chance of a person falling over an object reduces, as does the potential of a spill which could create a dangerous slipping hazard.

2.  Lighting
Effective lighting reduces the chances of an accident.  By illuminating areas which are known for trips and falls happening, this will help reduce any chance of an accident.

3.  Signage
Using clear, well-placed health and safety helps identify areas with potential problems.  Placing a sign that indicates a step, gap or an uneven ground brings attention to hazards and increases their awareness and attentiveness.  Reflective tape can also highlight issues.

4.  Stairs/Handrails
Stairs are one of the most common areas for falls to happen in the workplace.  Additional care is required to prevent injuries.  Ensure all stairwells are well-lit and clear of obstacles.

5.  Footwear
Do employees know which safety footwear is appropriate for the conditions they are working in?  Ensure everyone knows what attire is needed and when it needs to be used.

6.  Step Ladders
Providing accessible equipment such as ladders and step ladders helps employees reach heights safely.  By ensuring options are available, this reduces the possibility of an employee being hurt by climbing on chairs or tables.

7.  Manage Wires
Wires out in the open can create obstacles which could cause injury.  Install power sources, servers, internet connections in places which can be easily accessed, to avoid cables appearing along walkways wherever possible.

8.  Condition of the Floor
Cracks and holes should be repaired which will reduce the risk of any injury happening.  When an area is waiting to be fixed, warning signs should be placed to highlight the risk.

9.  Keep Filing Cabinets and Drawers Closed
Most office staff need to open drawers and filing cabinets during the day however, leaving them open can lead to injury.  Staff should be encouraged to ensure all drawers and cabinets are closed when not in use.

10.  Clean Up Spills Immediately
If a spill occurs, it should be cleaned up immediately.  If certain liquids penetrate the surface, it can cause a surface to be more slippery.  When a spill occurs, warning signs should be placed around the hazard immediately and during the clean-up. If a floor is known to be slippery anyway, this should be highlighted with an appropriate sign.