Fact sheet

Most slips occur in wet or contaminated conditions and most trips and falls (on the same level) are due to poor housekeeping. The solutions are often simple and of low cost.

Most people do not take the risks associated with slips, trips and falls seriously and think that are inevitable. This is not the case, and the application of good risk assessment and management controls can significantly reduce the risk of a slip, trip or fall occurring.

The main factors that play a part in contributing to slip, trip or fall accidents are:

  • – Cleaning
  • – Flooring
  • – Lighting
  • – Environment
  • – Footwear
  • – Contamination and obstacles
  • – People
Identify the risks
  • – Are there slip, trip and fall hazards in your workplace?
  • – Are there uneven floors, trailing cables, areas that are sometimes slippery due to spillages, etc?
  • – Is your workplace cluttered so there are obstructions in the walkways?
  • – Are older or disabled persons at greater risk of slipping, tripping and falling?
  • – Is there a high accident rate for slips, trips and falls?
Controlling risk:
  • – Only use the correct safety and cleaning equipment provided
  • – Do not create additional slip, trip or fall hazards when undertaking cleaning or maintenance work
  • – Carry out maintenance work at suitable intervals, and when it will cause the least disruption
  • – Report faulty lighting before levels become too low for safe work
  • – Ensure floors are regularly inspected and repairs made as necessary
  • – Do not leave items lying around
  • – Tidy up as you go and keep work areas tidy
  • – If obstructions cannot be removed, use signs or barriers to warn people
  • – Ensure spillages are promptly cleaned up
  • – If you are provided with safety footwear, make sure you wear it


Did you know?
  1.  Slips and trips are the most common cause of specified (major) injuries at work and can happen almost anywhere
  2. Slips and trips in workplaces were the most common cause of specified injuries in the workplace in 2012/13, and slips, trips and falls from height account for over a third of all reported injuries to employees
  3. Slips, trips and falls cost society over £800m per year


“Be clear about which steps to take”

 Always consider:

  • – Lighting
  • – Footwear
  • – Floors
  • – Obstructions


Download your two free resources today

The HSE has two free resources that are worth exploring. They are the HSE Slip Assessment Tool (SAT), and the HSE Slips and Trips eLearning Package.

The HSE Slip Assessment Tool (SAT) is a free practical tool for operators. It lets you assess the slip potential of pedestrian walkway surfaces. You can download it for free here.

The HSE Slips and Trips eLearning Package (STEP) is an easy-to-follow, interactive introduction to identifying and dealing with the dangers of slips and trips. STEP is suitable for a wide range of businesses, and you can download it for free here.


Getting in touch

If you have any questions on this issue, please contact Hettle Andrews today.

These example Employee Factsheets are provided by Hettle Andrews & Associates for general guidance on matters of interest. In making these documents available to a general and diverse audience it is not possible to anticipate the requirements or the hazards of any subscriber’s business. Users are therefore advised to carefully evaluate the contents.

Hettle Andrews & Associates does not accept any liability whatsoever for injury, damage or other losses which may arise from reliance on this information and the use of these documents.

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