Many businesses can dismiss the risk of slips, trips and falls as trivial or simply as the result of employees not taking adequate care. Many of these risks may be preventable, if we adopt a variety of approaches to mitigating the risk. Tackling slips, trips and falls means focusing on three fundamental areas:
Putting together a detailed risk assessment on slip, trip and fall hazards lets you create and put into place an action plan that's suitable for your business.
Control and mitigation of risks, as far as is ‘reasonably practicable’, is the key to success. You should allocate the appropriate time and resources to tackle them.
Focus on looking at the slip, trip and fall ‘hotspots’ and what's causing them. Once you know what the priority areas for improvement are, you can target these areas to minimise future likelihood of injury.
Chris Andrews, Director of Risk Management Solutions
“At Aviva, our proactive prevention philosophy to risk management allows us to help you effectively manage the risks that may cause slip and trip injuries. By sharing information and advice on how to reduce these risks, we hope that this guidance will help you continue to protect your people and your business from this problem.”
Access and egress
When it rains, snows or there are icy conditions, you need to think about areas of high footfall, such as entrance lobbies or corridors. The correct positioning of entrance matting, provision of external canopies and grilles can help to reduce risk of slips, trips and falls.
In swimming pools, spas and changing facilities, where people walk barefoot, you may find deposits of body fats and surface water on floors. Good cleaning practices and effective drainage to minimise wet surfaces, can help to reduce the risks of slips, trips and falls.
Making sure employees are wearing the right footwear should form part of your slip and trip risk assessment and control. The GRIP scheme has been developed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to actively reduce slip incidents where footwear is a contributory cause. Footwear manufacturers get their products tested and rated for slip-resistance. This can help businesses and employees to find the right footwear to suit their work environment.
Design and layout
When it comes to slips, trips and falls, the design and layout of premises – both inside and out – can have a significant impact on the level of risk. Key areas to consider are hotspots like stairs, steps, slopes, flooring, areas where there are regular floor contamination risks, poor lighting and uneven surfaces. These should all be considered a priority for regular assessment and potential refurbishment. To help you get started, read our Top Tips for Trips document here.
Inspection, housekeeping and cleaning
Inspection, housekeeping and cleaning regimes all have their part to play in minimising incidents and near misses inside your premises. You can evaluate controllable factors such as floors, environment design and intended use of the area - our Top Tips for Trips document here is a good place to start. Determine who uses the areas, what your footfall levels are and what impact the weather has - when doing so, consider reasonably forseeable and predictable factors.
Outside your premises
Car parks, footpaths, steps and stairs are common sites of slip and trip incidents. Using accident and near miss data more effectively can help identify ‘hot spots’, where additional controls or remedial action could make a big difference. Winter maintenance, snow and ice clearance, leaf litter clearance, pothole repairs, upkeep and maintenance are essential components of a successful prevention strategy.
Stairs and steps
Careful design that eliminates hazards is important. Stair dimensions may be a cause of accidents. Use of correctly designed handrails and reflective markers can make a big difference. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents have launched a safer stairs campaign, to improve stair design and help reduce the number of accidents - read about it here.
*Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0
Helping you control slip, trip and fall risks
We can help you control the risks in your workplace, by undertaking slip alert testing as part of your Aviva risk management support programme. By combining accident and near-miss data deep-dives with ‘hot spots’ and risk mapping, high-risk areas can be identified. You'll then get a client report with recommendations for improvement. Please contact your Risk Consultant for further information.
Help minimise risks with our Specialist Partners
We have a wealth of experience in helping customers protect their business. As well as insurance, we provide a vast offering of other products and services to help prevent accidents and losses. As an Aviva policyholder, these products and services are available to you at preferential rates, helping you reduce risk in your business. From fire to escape of water, security to motor, health and safety to business resilience – all our partners have an established pedigree in the risk management sector.
Need further help or assistance?
Call our Risk Help Line to speak to our Risk Management Solutions team for help and advice on
0345 366 6666
Opening times: Monday - Friday* 9:00am - 5:00pm
* Excludes Bank Holidays. The cost of calls to 03 prefixed numbers are charged at national call rates (charges may vary dependent on your network provider) and are usually included in inclusive minute plans from landlines and mobiles. For our joint protection telephone calls may be recorded and/or monitored.