Environmental issues can increase the risk of, or prevent slips and trips, so it is important to take them into consideration. But firstly, what does the term ‘Environment’ mean as regards slips and trips? Lighting (natural or otherwise), loud or unfamiliar noises, the weather, humidity, condensation etc.
The following gives an indication of how they can affect slips and trips
- Too much light on a shiny floor can cause glare and stop people from seeing hazards on the floor and stairs.
- Too little light will also prevent people from seeing hazards on the floor and stairs.
- Unfamiliar and loud noises may be distracting.
- If rainwater gets onto a smooth surface inside or outside of a building, it may create a slip hazard. Good entrance design (e.g. canopies) can help.
- Cold weather can cause frost and ice to form, which may create slippery surfaces. (see icy conditions faq)
- Condensation may make a smooth floor slippery.
More information on 'Environment' can be found in the Safer surfaces to walk on, CIRIA
- Slips and trips - Hazard spotting checklist
- Preventing slips and trips at work INDG 225(rev1)
- Injury caused by a slip in a kitchen