Slips and trips

There were 482 major injuries and 1388 over-3-day injuries in the 'freight by road' industry reported in 2009/10 work year, caused by slips or trips.

People do not slip or trip by chance. Simple steps can be taken to greatly reduce the risk of employees having these accidents.

Measures to reduce the risk of slips and trips include:

  • Consider floor slip resistance, especially around the edges, when buying a new trailer or tail lift.
  • Try out different types of footwear to see which provides most slip-resistance for the environments employees will be working in. Remember that 'oil resistant' has nothing to do with slip resistance.
  • Good housekeeping – encourage a 'see it, clear it' culture to keep trucks, trailers and the workplace tidy.
  • If your site has it's own diesel tank, build a simple bricked kerb to contain small diesel spills, and provide materials (detergents, sand) near the tank, in case of accidental spills.
  • Try to avoid the need to carry large or heavy objects over slippery surfaces – these can obscure a person's view and prevent them catching their fall if they do slip.
  • Ensure drivers remain alert to the risk of obstacles and kerbs when climbing down from the cab.

Icy conditions and winter weather

There are effective actions that you can take to reduce the risk of a slip or trip during the winter months. Regardless of the size of your site, always ensure that regularly used walkways are promptly tackled.

The following provide some advice on how to address these issues.

Trucks and trailers

The research document The underlying causes of falls from vehicles (RR437) includes detailed extra guidance for trucks and trailers, including the slip resistance properties of different types of trailer floors, truck access steps, and tail-lifts.

Further information

For more information on slips, go to the main HSE Slips website . Further written guidance can be found at the Slips resource centre, including details of the priced publication (INDG225): 'Preventing slips and trips at work: A brief guide'.

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