How to tackle the problem of workplace slips and trips

How to tackle the problem of workplace slips and trips 2218

[Picture by Sea Turtle]

An expert has advised employers to consider measures such as introducing anti-slip matting, good lighting and better training in order to prevent dangerous slips and trips in the workplace.

Jill Joyce, senior policy advisor with the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) highlighted how a recent survey conducted by IOSH and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that one third of all major injuries in the workplace are caused by slips, trips and falls.

No win no fee solicitors can help people make a personal injury claim if they have suffered an accident at work through no fault of their own. Of course, it is far better for employers to put measures in place to prevent slips and trips occurring in the working environment rather than adjust working practices after an accident. 

The HSE/IOSH survey found that slips, trips and falls cost employers about £520 million per year in terms of lost working days and other expenses.

The survey also found that during 2009/2010:

•There were 31,913 falls ‘on the same level’ i.e. not from height – four of these falls were fatal

•There were over 10,000 workplace falls from height 

•One in five workplace injuries lasting more than three days are the results of slips, trips and falls

IOSH senior policy and technical advisor Jill Joyce believes that it’s a misconception that these accidents are unavoidable and stresses that employers and employees can both take precautions to help reduce the chances of a slipping, tripping or falling accident occurring. 

Jill said: “It is a known fact that where accident prevention techniques have been employed injuries can be cut by up to 50 per cent.”

The technical advisor advises that measures to reduce the danger of accidents include: 

•Good lighting to illuminate floors

•Markings to highlight a change in floor surface or level

•Getting employees to wear suitable footwear

•Slip-resistant flooring

The measures which employers should consider will depend on the working environment involved.  Anti-slip matting is particularly effective at making the act of walking on wet surfaces – in factory washrooms, kitchens and beside swimming pools – safer.

Jill said: “Commercial kitchens and fast-food restaurants are other areas where anti-slip flooring is beneficial. There have been serious accidents where employees have slipped on wet floors and severely burned themselves with hot cooking oil while trying to break their falls.”

The safety expert believes that safety training can also reduce the number of slipping, tripping and falling accidents. Finding out about good housekeeping and accident-reporting techniques “can reduce unnecessary danger in the workplace”.

She concluded: “When a safety culture is successfully instilled in a business, long-term improvement can start to be seen.”

It is advice which some of Britain’s biggest supermarkets will be well-aware of.

Slipping and tripping accidents are very common in supermarkets and are reminders that inadequate health and safety practices can endanger the well-being of workers and members of the public. 

Whether a member of the public or an employee suffers a slip, trip or fall due to someone else’s negligence, Claims Direct will be able to help.