How to Prevent Slips, Trips & Falls in the Workplace

As one of the most common causes of workplace accidents, slips, trips and falls were responsible for nearly a third of all non-fatal injuries at work last year.

Falls from height are also the biggest cause of death of workers in the UK, with the number of fatalities having risen by around a third over the past 12 months.

Although falls can’t be avoided all together, by maintaining good habits and following the points below the risk to employees can be lowered.

Simple ways to reduce the risk of falls

  • Clean up any spillages promptly and use appropriate signage to warn others of wet floors.
  • Take your time, don’t rush. Many accidents occur when people are trying to do things quickly neglecting their safety.
  • Wear sensible footwear that have a good grip.
  • Keep walkways free of obstacles that could become trip hazards, such as boxes or loose cabling.
  • Look out for uneven surfaces and report dangerous areas, such as potholes or raised ground.
  • Ensure all work areas including passages and stairways are lit sufficiently.
  • Be extra careful during periods of wet/icy weather when the ground may be slippery under foot.
  • Exercise caution when working at height and using ladders. Remember to keep three points of contact with the ladder at all times.

Advice for employers

If an employee suffers an injury at work then according to UK health and safety laws their employer can be held responsible. Legally employers must carry out a risk assessment to identify the possible dangers their workers could face and put in place measures to control the level of risk. This includes that of slips, trips and falls.

What employees need to do

Staff must take responsibility for their safety by remaining vigilant and keeping the workplace tidy. Potential hazards and near-misses should always be reported. It’s important for employees to be proactive about safety and check their work area each and every day before they start and at a regular intervals whilst they are working.

How personal alarms can alert employers in the event of a fall

Falls can be even more dangerous if an employee is working alone. Should someone fall and lose consciousness when no one else is around, it could be ages before anybody is aware in which time their condition may be considerably worse.

This is why it’s recommended that employees, especially lone workers, carry some form of personal safety alarm that will activate if the user suffers a slip, trip or fall.

Devices such as the MicroSOS lone worker alarm are able to detect impact, so if the wearer falls and fails to move within a set period of time, the device will alert Peoplesafe’s Alarm Receiving Centre. On receiving the alarm, Controllers will attempt to speak to the user through the device and escalate to a designated colleague or the emergency services if help is required.