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Slips, trips and falls

Common slip, trip and fall hazards and precautions you can take 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 your control.

​Use the links below to find information on common slip, trip and fall hazards and how to assess these. You will also find resources and precautions you can take to prevent slips, trips and falls and your legal duties.

  1. Common slip, trip and fall hazards
  2. Slip, trip and fall safety precautions
  3. Slip, trip and fall legislation

2. Slip, trip and fall safety precautions

​Measures to deal with the risk of slips, trips and falls are often very straight forward to implement. For example you can 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 you and your workers can take to make your 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.

Find out more 

​You can find out more about preventing slips, trips and falls on the HSE site.

Visit the HSE site for further guidance on preventing slips and trips​Visit the HSE site to use the slips and trips eLearning package​