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Slips and Trips 

Spilled drink hazardIn 2008/2009, slips and trips in local authority enforced workplaces in Great Britain accounted for 36% of all reportable major injuries, and 23% of over-3-day injuries, to employees.

It is estimated that the annual cost of slips and trips accidents to society could be over £800 million, with over £500 million directly contributable to costs to employers.

Approximately one third of reportable accidents received by Allerdale Borough Council are as a result of a slip, trip or fall, which are in line with national trends. As a result, Allerdale Borough Council Environmental Health Department are targeting slips by supporting the HELA priority programme for slips and trips.

Officers from the Food and Occupational Health Section of Allerdale Borough Council will contribute to this programme by:

  • Reactive work to ensure that appropriate remedial action is taken, by;
  • Investigating all reportable accidents involving a slipping or tripping incident;
  • Investigating all complaints involving a slipping or tripping risk;

However the reported accidents or complaints received by the department are only the tip of the ice-berg, businesses may be aware of slipping incidents where people pick themselves up off the floor, or near misses that the Environmental Health Department would not be aware of. Therefore businesses must put in suitable systems to assess the risk of slipping so that further incidents do not occur.

Officers will be promoting and advising on risk assessments by proactive work to ensure that suitable control measures are in place to prevent slips from occurring, by:

  • Including an assessment of slips and trips in all routine health and safety inspections.
  • Offering advice for new businesses, existing businesses refurbishing or at any other time.

Inspectors are assessing whether businesses are:

  • Assessing the true extent of their slips risks?
  • Specifically targeting slips risks with separate arrangements?
  • Avoiding wet contamination (the cause of 90% of slips);
  • Where a risk remains, providing a floor of sufficient surface roughness.

The following are examples of slip and trips incidents that would be reportable:

  • If a customer (member of the public) slips or trips as a result of your work activity i.e. cleaning activities being carried out or contamination on the floor causing them to slip i.e. food or water spillage, and they are taken to hospital from your premises.
  • If an employee or self employed person working on your premises slips or trips as a result of your work activity, and
    - Is subsequently off work or unable to carry out normally duties for 3 days;
    - Suffers a major injury, such as breaking their arm etc;
    - Admitted to hospital for more than 24 hours;
    - Fatality (this also includes members of the public).

If officers come across floor surfaces which cause concern or there is a slipping accident reported, measurements of the surface micro-roughness can be taken and analysed using the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) Slips Assessment Tool (SAT).

The HSE have guidance on dealing with slips and trips which can be found by clicking on the related link below.

Downloadable Documents

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Adobe PDF format - download the viewerSlips and Trips Guidance in PDF format217 Kb31 secs @ 56k, 1 sec @ 2mb
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0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ