Step 1 - Incidents & Causes

Avoid Accidents

Food Retail Case Study

Sainsbury's recognised that it needed to revise its footwear policy. Feedback from stores was that steel toecap footwear wasn't guarding against slips and was too heavy and inflexible. There was also confusion over when safety shoes needed to be worn and what footwear was best as too many styles were on offer.

This feedback formed part of a review led by the internal safety team. One key finding was that many colleagues, from those in the restaurants and bakeries to those on the food counters, would benefit from having slip protection footwear.

The information gathered was used to influence Sainsbury's internal uniform buyers.

Slip resistant footwear was successfully trialled with colleagues working in customer restaurants and, as a result, the uniform buyers were persuaded to simplify their footwear guidance and introduce more slip resistant styles.

To date, more than 15,000 pairs of shoes have been issued, and the changes have been well-received by colleagues.

Safety Policy and Systems Specialist, Sharon Rackley said:

"We wanted to make slip resistant footwear available to as many of our colleagues as possible and though the roll-out has only recently begun, there has already been a reduction in the number of slip accidents. We hope that this trend will continue in coming months."

Business Development Manager for Customer Restaurants, Janet Dillon added: "Our cafe colleagues say that the new shoes are much more comfortable and managers have less of a challenge getting them to wear them"

Step 2 - Avoiding Accidents

Trip hazards

An unexpected obstacle in your path can cause a serious trip and fall. It is important to keep walkways clear, so make sure boxes, bags, cables and other obstacles aren’t left hanging around.

Food spill

Spillages are one of the most common causes of slips in the workplace; we all need to be vigilant and clean up any spilt substance that could cause an accident. Take a look in your workplace and see if you can improve how you work.


Leaving boxes around can cause a serious trip hazard. Deliveries should be put into proper storage as quickly as possible and pallets or packaging cleared away. Your actions can make a real difference.

Problem areas

If you have an issue with slips and trips in your workplace, get your team together and look at how you can work together to make your workplace a safer environment. Think about where the main risks to workers are and how to address them. Our hazard spotting checklist can help you do this.

Change in level

Steps or ramps are places where a worker can trip or fall. If you have changes in level or ramps in your workplace think about sensible measures to make sure everyone knows where they are.

Wrong cleaning method

Using the wrong cleaning method or the wrong cleaning equipment can put staff at risk by making the floor slippery. Make sure cleaners know the correct cleaning method and use it.


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