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Don’t Slip Up: Protecting Against Slips And Trips

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mayjune 18 16Don’t Slip Up: Protecting Against Slips And Trips

We’ve all done it. You’re running where you shouldn’t be, you aren’t paying attention to the environment around you, or you’ve opted to wear a new, slightly too slick pair of shoes. Suddenly the floor gives out beneath you, you lollop around like a newborn giraffe, and you try not to fall over.

Yet taken together, slips, trips and falls were the most common cause of non-fatal injuries in the workplace in 2016/17, (Read More)

and the second most common cause of fatalities. Failing to take them seriously poses a critical risk to both your business and your employees.

How to prevent slips and trips

Start by conducting thorough risk assessments of highly trafficked areas, and reappraise these when any new risk factors are added. Assessors should have qualified workplace safety training, but you may wish to extend this to other employees, in order to ingrain a safety culture.

Make sure to ask employees for their feedback, as they may have spotted risks in daily usage that you haven’t, or may know of incidents that weren’t reported. It’s common that somebody almost slips but recovers, and doesn’t think it is worth reporting. Safety training will help to highlight the importance of this due process, and to spot risks more proactively.

Once an assessment has been conducted, procedures should be implemented to minimise risk. Employees should be aware of the process for cleaning spills or removing physical hazards, and this process should not represent a burden or disadvantage to the person reporting the incident.

Ensure these are followed up quickly, and take immediate steps to highlight and mitigate any risks, even if this involves closing an area. The cleaning process should also not introduce an additional hazard in itself, with the addition of cleaning fluids or crowding of a busy area.
Falls tend to be more predictable, yet workers continue to take liberties. Employers should ensure that working at height regulations are properly enforced, with no ad-hoc platforms. Proper usage of PPE should also be mandated, including harnesses where necessary.

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