Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slips, trips and falls are the most common reason of injury in workplaces and the second highest cause of fatalities . In addition, the financial losses of these kind of incidents are massive.
Based on statistical data, the estimation cost of slips and trips incidents for companies is 500 million Euros and to the society around 800 million Euros yearly. The European Agency for Safety and Health (EASH) at work, stated that slips and trips are the largest single trigger of accidents in all industries and “it’s triggering an average as much as 40% of all reported major injuries” . The table below indicates the number of injuries to employees which is reported in 2013/2014.
This report describes measures that companies may assist to prevent slips and trips. In order to control the risk of slips and trips within the working area, the process of risk assessment needs to be approached, which is required by the law to carry out.
However, a risk assessment is not only about creating paperwork, but also about taking practical measure to control the risk within working areas. For example, using anti-slip step covers on the slippery stairs creates more friction on the surface. In other words, we have to consider what kind of risk in working areas may lead to accidents, and then we have to decide what proper and actual control measures will prevent these kinds of coincidences.
Therefore, companies need to allocate these control measures into practices. For example, using the staff’s knowledge and their experiences, leads to show what kind of risks might exist, as they may observe things that are not noticeable for management and they may come up with some good ideas on how to control the risks. Moreover, the other option to measure and control the risk, is using the hazard checklist or slips mapping tool in order to help the company to categorize problem areas.
A proper risk management system can minimize the level of accidents and injuries by:
- Identifying and assessing the problem
- Making decisions and implementing them
- Evaluating and measuring that the implementations taken, have been successful
Firstly, the areas where the risk of falls and slips might occur, must be identified such as uneven floors, slippery surfaces, low visible obstacles and so on. Then by modifying or upgrading the hazardous area, it is possible to eliminate the risk of slips and trips. The equipment that might be used for upgrading the safety are: anti-slip covers, safety mats, ladder rung covers, step covers, pictograms, and warning signages.
Secondly, the HSE Dept. as a key responsible, needs to be sure that health and safety within workplace is clearly arranged and presented graphically, systematically, and practically correct.
Thirdly, it is necessary to control the process. In other words, it is essential to ensure that the process is being carried out accurately. In addition, to monitor the effectiveness of the plan in the future, the records of all activities such as maintenance and cleaning, shall be kept. Recording the activities also helps the company to monitor whether the number of accidents are decreasing or not? Or whether less potential reported hazards during the inspection are compared to the last safety inspection or not? In addition, the organization shall provide the assessment of the risk and hazard to staffs, visitors and contractors, who could be affected in their works.
In conclusion, it can be stated that, training without accountability is unsuccessful. The safety culture is the first and most important part in any organization which needs to be clearly identified to everyone. Then the safety culture can support the training.
Iman Aref, Export Manager: +45 26282485 / firstname.lastname@example.org
-  E. Information and S. No, “Preventing slip and trip incidents in the education sector HSE information sheet,” pp. 1–8, 2004.
-  N. H. Scotland, “Slips, Trips and Falls.”
-  HSE, “Slips & trips and falls from height in Great Britain , 2013,” pp. 1–14, 2013.