Last edited 18 Sep 2020

Slip and trip hazards

Contents

[edit] Introduction

Slips and trip hazards are incidents that make someone lose their footing. Most frequently, this is caused by an unstable or slippery walking surface or an obstruction in a walkway.

[edit] Common slip and trip hazards

Slips and trips are some of the accidents that happen most frequently in the workplace. This type of accident is also very common amongst members of the general public.

These accidents tend to happen in the follow areas:

[edit] Building owner responsibilities

Building owners and property managers should make every effort to minimise slip and trip hazards. This means hazards in high traffic areas should be either removed or dealt with in a safe and effective manner. For instance, when flooring surfaces become wet and slippery, mats should be put in place over the hazard. If a walkway is blocked by construction or some other obstruction, barriers and redirect signage should clearly mark and avoid the hazard.

Cleaning procedures for floors should be followed regularly. All walking surfaces should be kept free of spills, water, oil and any other substances that may degrade traction for foot traffic. Grit (rock salt) can be spread on surfaces where there is a risk of ice forming.

Risk management tools are available to help building owners assess slip and trip hazards and put appropriate measures in place.

Legislation requiring assessment of, and protection against, slip and trip hazards includes:

[edit] What building occupants can do

Building occupants can be urged to minimise slip and trip hazards as well. Proper footwear with suitable traction is recommended, particularly on construction sites or in other environments where the risk is higher and accidents are more likely. Those in the retail, healthcare and hospitality sectors should follow a 'no running' policy.

All building occupants should take extra care when wet leaves, black ice or other weather conditions are present. Signs can be placed around the property to remind people not to walk with their hands in their pocket; they can also be urged to be extra cautious about where they step to decrease the likelihood of a slip. They should watch where they are walking and not look at mobile devices.

Another responsibility for building occupants is to report any slip or trip hazards immediately to the appropriate responsible people. This includes spills, damage to flooring or other unsafe items that have been left in places where they could create a slip or trip hazard.

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

[edit] External references

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