Slips and trips
Every year, nearly five million people in Europe suffer workplace accidents and are absent from work for more than three days as a result. Accident risks are higher in small and medium size enterprises particularly those with fewer than 50 employees. Often there are simple measures you can take to reduce or eliminate slips, trips and falls, such as:
- Good housekeeping - poor standards of cleaning and general untidiness are a major cause of slips, trips and falls. Keeping work areas clean and tidy, with floors and access routes clear of obstacles or obstructions can help reduce accidents. Rubbish should be regularly removed to a designated area outside the building
- Lighting - good lighting levels, without glare or shadows, should be provided, particularly on access routes and staircases. External lighting may be needed on any walkways or staircases used by staff and visitors outside the workplace
- Flooring - floors should be level, even and checked regularly for damage. Loose carpets or mats cause many accidents so make repairs as quickly as possible. Any gradient changes should be highlighted and slippery surfaces replaced or treated with a non slip coating
- Stairways - handrails must be provided to all stairways and securely fixed to the structure of the staircase or adjoining wall. High visibility and non-slip nosings help to prevent slips and trips. A single step or ramp should be clearly marked.
- Spillages - ensure employees know who to report these to so that they can be cleaned up immediately. Use proper signs on wet floors or those being cleaned
- Trailing cables - ensure cables of electrical equipment or telephones do not trail across floors or access routes and use cable ties or floor cable covers
- Footwear - workers should be provided with footwear suitable for the work environment, taking into account any waste material, dust, etc produced by the job, the material of floor surfaces, environmental factors such as water, dust, ice, etc and the slip resistance of the footwear.
You can see more information on the HSE website www.hse.gov.uk/slips/index.htm .
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