“Slips and trips”, it doesn’t sound ominous or dangerous, but don’t be fooled. Slips and trips account for ~20% of all lost time injuries every year. They can result in serious injuries and lengthy periods of time off work. Injuries to feet and ankles, which can prevent you from driving and walking or being on your feet at all, have a considerable impact on your home life as well as work.

Risk factors that contribute to slips and trips injuries will vary according to the type of workplace and work tasks being completed. Here is some information from our Health and Safety Executive for you to consider.

Common causes of slips
• Inappropriate floor surface – e.g. smooth, shiny tiles in a wet area
• Slippery floor surfaces – e.g. oily, icy, wet or dusty
• Poor housekeeping – e.g. spills not cleaned up immediately
• Inappropriate or sudden changes in floor surfaces
• Inappropriate drainage – e.g. liquid and waste from machinery leaking onto floors
• Inappropriate footwear

Common causes of trips
• Poor housekeeping – e.g. objects left in corridors, cluttered work spaces
• Poorly maintained floor – e.g. cracked concrete or tiles, frayed or lifted carpets
• Low, unseen objects – e.g. electrical cords, boxes, stock, pallets, packing material
• View obstructed due to carrying of objects
• Uneven surfaces or changes in floor levels
• Poorly lit stairwells
• Inadequate storage areas
• Passage or walkways being used for storage

Common causes of falls
• Poor systems of work – e.g. using ladders or chairs to access high storage areas, climbing down ladders while carrying objects, unsafe loading or unloading of vehicles
• View obstructed due to carrying of objects
• Loading docks and mezzanine storage areas with no fall protection
• Uneven surfaces or changes in floor levels
• Poorly maintained and dimly lit stairwells
• Poor access to storage racking