Slips and trips

This page contains information and guidance to help you prevent slip and trip accidents in the catering and hospitality industry.

What you must do

You must ensure that your employees and anyone else who could be affected by your work (such as visitors and members of the public), are kept safe from harm. You must assess the risk from slips and trips and take reasonable precautions.

What you should know

Slips and trips remain the single most common cause of major injury in UK workplaces.  Every year there are many accidents in the catering and hospitality industry caused by slips and trips. The occupations most affected are kitchen assistants, chefs and waiting staff.

Find out more lists free downloads, such as guidance leaflets, posters and case studies. There is also information on choosing appropriate flooring and anti-slip footwear.

You must assess the risk from slips and trips and take reasonable precautions. Some simple things you might consider as part of your assessment are:

Food spillages

Spills from food or cooking are among the main causes of slips in kitchens. Staff must be vigilant and clean up any spilled substance that could cause a hazard.

Water overflow or leak

An overflowing sink or a leak that causes water to drip onto the floor can create a serious slip hazard, especially on a smooth floor. Stop it from getting onto the floor in the first place. Turn off taps and fix leaks quickly - use drip trays or something similar as a temporary measure.

Floor in poor condition

It's easy to trip on damaged floors so, if you spot an area of damage, arrange for it to be fixed straight away - don't put off repairs. As a temporary measure, highlight the damaged area, report it and where possible keep people away.

Trip hazards

An unexpected obstacle in your path can cause a serious trip and fall. People need a clear space in which to work, so make sure boxes, bags, cables and other obstacles aren't left lying around. Storage should always be provided for incoming deliveries and staff belongings.


Most slips happen on wet or dirty floors. Anything that gets onto the floor needs to be removed quickly and effectively. Ensure cleaning happens at the right time and is carried out in the correct manner, using the right products and equipment for the job.

Carrying hot oil

Emptying oil from deep fat fryers can be difficult. Make sure you and your staff follow the manufacturers instructions to do this work safely.

Find out more

Catering  and Slips and Trips

Cleaning and Slips and Trips

General Slips and Trips


Useful links

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Updated 2021-08-03