Managing slips and trips in the workplace

02 November 2018

Slips and trips are one of the most common causes of injury in many workplaces. Whilst most of these are minor, others can be severe and cause disruption to your organisation.

Mind your step sign

What are the main causes of slips and trips?

Most slips occur in wet or contaminated conditions, frequently as a result of or spillages. Commonly, trips are caused by worn paths, steps or floor coverings and where electricity cables trail across the floor.
 
Where an injury occurs due to a slip or trip, your organisation could be prosecuted or sued for compensation by the injured party. Prevention of slips and trips is therefore extremely important for organisations. 

What are your legal responsibilities in relation to slips and trips?

If you are an employer you must comply with the general requirements of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations. More specifically, you must also comply with the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations.  These require that workplaces are properly maintained, well lit and free of obstacles amongst other things.
 
You will also need to comply with these if you have control of premises used as a workplace. More generally as someone in control of premises, you will have to make sure that access is safe. This is under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
 
You also need to meet your common-law duty of care, ensuring that your premises do not cause injury to another because you have acted negligently.

How can you prevent slips and trips?

Having a robust strategy in place for managing the risk from slip and trip hazards is key. 
 
This could include carrying out a thorough inspection of your premises to identify any hazards and decide if your precautions are adequate.
 
In our slips and trips guidance notes below, we provide detailed information on how to prevent slips and trips including actions you can take.