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Slips and trips

Most slips occur when floors become wet or contaminated and many trips are due to poor housekeeping.

The solutions are often simple and cost-effective and a basic assessment of the risks should help to identify what you can do to tackle slips and trips risks.

Case study

An NHS trust recognised they had problems with slips and trips on wet hospital floors. In a two-year period, 100 members of staff had reported slips or trips on wet, recently cleaned floors.

How was the problem tackled?

HSE recommended a dry mopping system, using microfibre mops that reduce the amount of residue left on the floor during and after mopping. The staff were also advised to mop and dry the floor in sections before moving onto the next part of the ward, to provide safe access around the area.

Since the trust implemented the system, it has seen an 85% reduction in slips and trips from the 100 reported in the previous two years.

Why is dealing with slips and trips important?

Slips and trips are the most common cause of injury at work. On average, they cause over a third of all major injuries and can lead to other types of accidents, such as falls from height or falls into machinery.

Slips and trips also account for half of all reported injuries to members of the public in workplaces where there is public access, such as hospitals, shops and restaurants.

What do I have to do?

To help prevent these accidents you need to think about what might cause  slips or trips in your workplace and decide whether you are doing enough to prevent them. Once you have identified the risks you must control them.

How can I do it?

Slips and Trips eLearning Package (STEP)

Find out more

The law

Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992

Updated 2014-01-20