Tackling slips and trips in a further education establishment
A member of a college's Health and Safety Team attended a Health and Safety Executive seminar on preventing slip, trip and fall injuries. They also consulted HSE's free Education Information Sheet No 2 - 'Preventing slip & trip incidents in the education sector' .They decided to assess the risks on their own college site.
Initial assessment found that some areas were not a problem in clean and dry conditions but became 'high risk' when dirty or wet. Water walked into the vinyl-floored corridors from outdoors, spillages on common room vinyl floors and dust created & deposited on the painted floors of the college workshops presented just such wet or contaminated conditions and so had a high slip risk.
The college Senior Management Team was involved at the earliest opportunity and were able to give backing to the Health & Safety Team's recommendations for action.
Initial action included
- Providing good quality entrance matting to remove water from the footwear of people entering the building. Care was needed to be sure that the matting extended across the routes that pedestrians actually took when entering the buildings. This is not always in a straight line forwards from the doorway.
- Main corridors are now carpeted.
- Anti-slip flooring with good surface roughness has been installed in the workshop areas most vulnerable to unavoidable contamination.
Other action taken or under way
- New main entrance doors designed to reduce the amount of rainwater getting in onto the floors.
- Take-away drinks from the staff and student refectories are now issued in lidded containers to reduce the risk of spillages in walkways, stairwells etc.
- Anti-slip and hi-vis treads have been fitted to stairs.
- More workshop areas (e.g. hair & beauty studio) are being surveyed to assess the potential for liquid and non-liquid floor contaminants to cause slip risks.
The college has experienced a year by year decrease in the number of slip-trip-fall incidents since the instigation of the action programme.
Grateful acknowledgements to Aberdeen College.
- Slips and trips: Hazard spotting checklist
- Assessing the slip resistance of flooring
- Preventing slips and trips at work INDG 225(rev1)
- Slips and trips mapping tool