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  • Sharon Burbidge

Health & Safety

Slips and Trips


Slips and trips are the main cause of accidents in the workplace. Consequences include:

  • Minor injuries - cuts, bruises and sprains;

  • Broken bones;

  • Injuries to the back;

  • Time off work;

  • Major injuries - head injuries or concussions;

  • Legal proceedings; and

  • Death.


Some of the reasons for slips, trips and falls include:

  1. Poor working practices

  2. Poor housekeeping

  3. Poor design of premises


Some examples of these would be:


For poor working practices -

  • Rushing or working too quickly

  • Not paying attention or carelessness

  • Not wearing the appropriate footwear


For poor housekeeping -

  • Obstructing walkways and corridors

  • Damaged floors, surfaces, railings and ladders


For poor design of premises -

  • Uneven flooring

  • Poor quality, unsuitable shelving or storage units

  • Poor lighting

  • Not meeting health and safety design standards


Some of these could be prevented by:


For poor working practices -

  • Always follow safety procedures

  • Never run inside the premises

  • Always pay attention to what you are doing and to the people and objects around you

  • Always wear the recommended footwear


For poor housekeeping -

  • Walkways and corridors should never be obstructed

  • All spillages should be cleaned up immediately

  • Floors and any other flooring surfaces such as tiles and carpet should be kept clean and in good condition

  • Hand and balcony railings and ladders should be regularly checked and maintained in good condition

  • Suitable warning signs should be displayed


For poor design of premises -

  • Floors should be even and non-slip

  • Shelving and storage areas should be appropriate for use

  • Drainage and lighting should be adequate

  • There should be hand-railings on all balustrades, slopes and stairs



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