The danger that is 'slips, trip and falls' and how to prevent them

Published: 6 Feb 2017

In recent weeks, CSC has seen an increase in work place accidents being reported on our Complyforce portal. Slip, trips and falls feature prominently within these reports. In certain instances, the repercussions have resulted in serious injury including a wrist fracture due to falling on ice and a back sprain resulting in significant time off from work.

Over a third of all major injuries reported each year are slips, trips or falls and the single most common cause at work. Activities such as accessing the walk in freezer, slippery kitchen floors and poorly lit external areas are more often than not the usual culprits.

By following the fundamentals of health and safety and practical guidance, your business can be protected from the hazards presented by slips, trips and falls:

  • Employees must not endanger themselves or others and must use any safety equipment provided (including relevant footwear where necessary).
  • All floor areas must be in good condition and clear of any obstructions and trip hazards.
  • Conduct a risk assessment in which all potential hazards are identified with control measures put in place, including slip, trip and fall hazards and the likelihood of being trapped inside the chiller/freezer.
  • Look for uneven/slippery floors, mats and trailing cables and spillages.
  • Ensure that staff are effectively trained in the risk assessment with reference made to clearing of spillages and ice build up on floors and displaying the ‘Wet floor sign’.
  • Regularly review the risk assessment
  • When accessing the walk-in chiller/freezer certain special protocols should be followed:
    • Make sure that routine maintenance is conducted to ensure that door release mechanisms are in working order to reduce the likelihood of staff being locked in the walk-in chiller/freezer.
    • The use of the correct clothing cannot be understated. Ensure that staff wear non slip shoes, freezer jackets and gloves when carrying out tasks in the walk in chiller and freezer.
    • Controls need to be put in place when employees are conducting remote work in the chiller and freezers.
    • Employees must notify supervisory staff and/or co-workers if extended periods of time are going to be spent in these units.
  • Consideration must also be given to manual handling protocols. Ensure that ladders meet the required British Standards and are used to access high level shelving.
  • Regular safety checks must be conducted on floors and walk ways. Defects must be reported to management immediately with remedial works carried out where required.
  • In external areas to the premises ensure that adequate lighting is provided.
  • Regular de-icing of pavements and external walk ways must be conducted as and when required.
  • Check cleaning and maintenance work does not create hazards.
  • Keep areas clear and views not obscured.

CSC are here to help you put the necessary control measures in place to ensure that your business and staff are kept safe.

Contact us for advice anytime.