Slips, trips and falls are one of the most common accidents at work. While a trip or fall at work can be minor, each year hundreds of people receive severe injuries following trips and falls at work and up to 15 people lose their lives. Because of this, the risk of falling, tripping or slipping needs to be taken seriously by both employees and employers. Employers have a duty of care to protect their workforce from such accidents and everybody in a company is responsible for abiding by some good basic housekeeping practices to prevent trips, slips and falls from occurring.
Causes of trips and falls at work
Slips, trips and falls can be caused by all sorts of things. Often it is something small and inconsequential such as somebody leaving a box in a gangway or spilling something and not mopping it up straight away. Other causes of trips and falls at work include: loose flooring and carpets, hidden steps, freshly polished floors, cables and wiring lying across the floor, damaged ladders or other climbing equipment, and working in poor weather conditions such as in the rain, ice or snow. Sometimes, trip hazards are unavoidable. For instance, floors have to be cleaned and polished, or the layout of the building may mean steps or drops in the floor surface are hard to see. However, in such instances, warning signs should be used to warn anybody of the possibility of a slip or trip hazard.
Avoiding trips and falls at work
When it comes to avoiding trips and falls at work, good housekeeping is key. Not only should signage be used whenever there is a possibility of a slip hazard, but also it is important for employers to encourage a culture of safety. Objects should never be left on the floor where they could cause somebody to slip; while any loose or uneven carpets and floors should be reported as soon as they are spotted. In addition, if you have to climb a ladder or other such piece of equipment, it is important you inspect it before use and nobody should use ladders unless they have been properly trained.
If you have had suffered trips and falls at work, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible. Professional law firms, such as Accident Advice Helpline, who specialise in injuries around the workplace, are by far the best port of call as their friendly advisors will be able to tell you whether you have a claim for compensation.