Slips, Trips and Falls
Slips, trips and falls are the most common category of accidents in the workplace – in fact, figures from the Health & Safety Executive show that they represent around 40% of all reported injuries. So how can you prevent them from happening in the workplace? These focus areas are important starting points:
1. Know the law
Employers are bound by The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 to ensure a healthy, safe environment for their employees. This Act lays down detailed provisions which employers must understand and then use to create a strong H&S culture. For example, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires all businesses to assess their risks and address them, and the Workplace Regulations of 1992 state that all floors must be suitable for their purpose, maintained and kept clear so that people can move around safely and without risks.
2. Assess your workplace
The law requires businesses to carry out risk assessments. Make sure you have one and document it. A risk assessment, which should be structured according to H&S best practices (available online via the HSE), should document any identified risks, explain remedies and document when these control measures are put into place. The focus should always be on real and immediate risks, which you can ascertain by speaking to your employees, using hazard spotting checklists and getting help from H&S consultancy services who can offer support and guidance.
3. Create a strong H&S culture
If you can create a health and safety culture at work it will become far easier to identify risks for slips, trips and falls and then implement control measures. For example, there are many immediate and practical steps you can take, such as:
– Ensuring that floors are kept clear, clutter-free and dry
– Removing any trip hazards such as cables
– Encouraging staff to wear appropriate footwear
– Installing adequate office storage
– Designing walkways so that they are free from obstructions and used optimally.
– Having a clear plan and approach for cleaning and maintenance.
You can find supporting guidance for effectively managing health and safety in your business at: www.hse.gov.uk/managing/