Today we will discuss the hazard of slipping, tripping and falling within the workplace and what can be done to limit the risk of this happening.
Slips, trips and falls are amongst the most common accidents to happen in the construction industry, with injury from manual handling following closely behind.
This is why there are health and safety laws in place to limit this kind of thing from happening in the workplace. They ensure that all staff and visitors are kept safe on the premises and not at high risk.
Read on for more information and our guide to slips, trips and falls.
Slips, Trips and Falls
Slips, trips and falls are common accidents that take place every day in any industry throughout the UK. Those in construction are more likely to be at risk than in other industries - as the hazard of slipping, tripping and falling is far greater in construction.
This is typically due to potential uneven surfaces, holes and dips in the ground, along with building sites that are at different levels of completion and therefore building resources being stored in different places - which means there always is a potential risk of tripping over something and falling.
As slips, trips and falls in the construction industry are the most common accidents to happen, it is important to learn what causes them - and most importantly, what we can do to prevent them from happening in the first place.
Potential Hazards That Can Cause Slips, Trips and Falls
The hazard of slips, trips and falls often has a cause that can be prevented. Understanding the causes can help us stay alert to the hazards and minimise the risks in the future.
Some of the common causes for slips can include, wet or oily floor surfaces, loose floor mats or equipment, floor surfaces that do not have the same level of friction and weather hazards too - including rain, snow and ice.
Often the common causes of trips involve poor lighting, uneven ground surfaces, uncovered cables, untidy clutter and obstructed views.
How to Minimise the Risk of Slips, Trips and Falls
Now you have an understanding of what can cause someone to slip, trip and potentially fall in the workplace, some good tips and practices to help minimise these hazards involve some of the following:
- Cleaning any spills immediately
- Sweeping or mopping debris away from walkways
- Keeping all walkways clear
- Covering cables, especially when they cross walkways
- Keep all working areas well lit
- Replace or remove damaged flooring or ground surfaces
- Wear appropriate anti-slip footwear on-site at all times, as well as other safety protective equipment
Health and Safety at Work
It is important to implement the correct health and safety at work to minimise the chance of an accident happening. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 ensures everyone is safe whilst at work and employers provide a safe working environment.
The act protects the welfare of staff members, including permanent, casual, self-employed and temporary workers as well as visiting members of the public and anyone else on site. It allows the government to issue regulations, guidance and approved codes of practice for employers.
These responsibilities are for every employer in every aspect of the workplace and risk assessment should be carried out by management to identify possible hazards and risks.
What Happens if You Do Not Follow the Safety Laws
If an employer does not comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act, there can be serious consequences for both organisations and individuals. Particularly in the construction industry, it is extremely important that organisations follow the rules or else fines, disqualification and imprisonment could be the punishment as breaching the health and safety laws is an offence - this is why health and safety laws are taken so seriously.
Our dedicated team at Beaconrisk can provide you or your business with all the health and safety advice you need to ensure the health and safety of your staff. Slips, trips and falls can not only be bad for the victim but bad for the business.
Slips, Trips and Falls Training Course
Here at Beaconrisk, we offer a range of health and safety training courses. We have online courses that can be completed at the convenience of your staff at their leisure. The range of courses we provide can ensure that all employees and employers are compliant with all the necessary health and safety standards within the workplace.
We have a ‘slips, trips and falls’ specific approved course to introduce employees to some of the statistics and the laws around slips, trips and falls as well as showing some practical steps that could have been taken to prevent incidents.
The course also covers some of the straightforward changes that can be made in most business settings to significantly reduce the risk of a slip, trip or fall accident from happening.