Slips, Trips and Falls
Most of us will have had a minor slip or trip, quickly recovered our poise, and walked away, slightly embarrassed and wondering if anyone saw us. We quickly forget about the incident, while potentially leaving a hazard unaddressed to wreak its havoc on another unassuming colleague.
Safety is everyones' responsibility and it is time to take the risk of slips and trips seriously.
Slips and trips are the most common cause of injury at work (accounting for on average 40% of all reported major injuries) and can also lead to other types of serious accidents.
National Services Scotland
Common slip, trip and fall hazards and precautions can be taken to prevent these.
People must be able to move around the workplace safely. Slips, trips and falls are among the most common causes of accidents and Injury at work.
Visitors may also be at risk, both inside and outside premises under NSS control
Protect your colleagues report any hazard incident or near miss.
For information on how to report click here.
If you require additional information you can contact the NSS Health & Safety Advisors through HR Connect Contact Us / Health and Safety
In the event of any accidents, incidents or near misses within NHS 24, the below accident and incident report form should be filled in fully and passed on to your Health and Safety representative.
NHS 24 also has an accident, near miss and hazard policy.
Public Health Scotland
Scottish Ambulance Service
The Scottish Ambulance Service recognises the risks associated with slips trips and falls, and will make every effort, through risk assessment, provision of guidance and management strategies, to minimise these risks to protect its employees, service users and visitors from harm.
- How can we prevent slips, trips and falls?
Measures to deal with the risk of slips, trips and falls are often very straight forward to implement. For example, make sure floor coverings are suitable and adequate cleaning and maintenance systems are in place.
Basic housekeeping is often the simplest way to reduce the risk.
There are actions that everyone can take to make the workplace safer:
- Make repairs or replace the floor surface if required.
- Ensure personnel wear suitable and appropriate footwear, this includes visitors.
- Assess the cause of slippery surfaces and treat accordingly, for example treat chemically and use appropriate cleaning methods.
- Warn of risks at any change in surface, for example dry to wet, even to uneven, traffic routes, by using signs, mats or markings.
- Where there is a change in surface level, ensure good visibility and lighting, provide hand rails and add tread markers or other floor markings as required.
- Clean up all spillages immediately. If the floor is wet, use appropriate signs to tell people that extra care is needed or use another route until the spillage or wetness is gone.
Other actions you can take include:
- make sure rugs or mats are securely fixed and that edges do not present a trip hazard
- avoid cables crossing pedestrian routes and use cable guards to cover where required
- implement a defect reporting system to ensure the hazards are identified and addressed as soon as possible.
- What are the common slip, trip and fall hazards?
Most slips and trips are caused by
- poor lighting
- trailing cables
- unsuitable floor coverings
- uneven or damaged floor surfaces
- contaminated floor surfaces, for example liquid or grease
- poor housekeeping, for example tripping or falling over something left in a walk way.
When considering areas in your workplace that could cause a hazard remember to take into account
- any outdoor areas
- differing weather conditions
- working activities carried out off your premises.
The best way to get to find out what the risks are with your strategic business unit and what you can do to address these is by discussing the issues with staff and by performing a risk assessment.
The risk assessment process is to: -
- Identify the hazards
- Decide who might be harmed and how
- Evaluate the risks
- Decide on whether existing control measures are adequate or more should be done
- Implement and communicate to employees
Along with this depending on the severity of the issues, Line Managers may want to use the HSE Slips Assessment Tool (SAT) which helps assess the slip potential of pedestrian walkway surfaces.