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Reducing slips and trips in the Health Service

Person carrying pan

This page refers to a campaign that ran from 2005/05 to 06/07.

Last year, 54% of all reported major accidents in the health services were caused by a slip or a trip. If you compare that figure to the national average of 34%, it’s clear why HSE is so concerned.

Why the campaign?

The human cost of slip and trip accidents is usually easy to see. But not always so apparent is the price the NHS pays, both as an organisation and as an employer. Treatment costs currently stand at £133m per year and with 90 per cent of major accidents resulting in a broken bone, the NHS also has the expense of long-term staff absences.

What is the Campaign about?

In an attempt to combat the ever increasing numbers of slip and trip related accidents in the health sector, HSE is running a two year campaign. Its aim is to galvanise you into taking action to tackle slip and trip issues in your workplace.

During the campaign Inspectors and other HSE staff will be visiting health care establishments to assess standards, offer advice and enforce applicable legislation.

In support of the campaign, publicity and poster packs have been produced, specifically aimed at health services employees. (See below for details on how to obtain packs).

We are also holding seminars around the country (see below) and have already helped stage successful events in Scotland and the Midlands.

The NHS guidance, HTM61 on Flooring, is being updated to take on board the latest information on preventing slips when fitting new floors. In Scotland, a new Safety Action Notice has been produced about smooth flooring and reducing the risk of pedestrian slip accidents. There are also a number of research projects underway such as 'Effective cleaning for reducing slips' and 'Cleaning contracts in the NHS'.

How to obtain Posters and Publicity Packs?

Publicity packs are now available either in electronic format or as a hard copy.

The hard copy includes guidance, a newsletter and two posters and can be ordered from HSE books (quoting Misc 671D).There is only a limited stock available and you will be prevented from ordering in large quantities.

Alternatively, all the pack contents, except the posters, can be downloaded free of charge:

2015-02-24