Trips and falls at work are so easy to avoid that it seems a shame that they ever cause a problem. By taking some basic precautions the incidence of personal injury claims for this reason should plummet; accidents will always happen but it’s good to know you have done your best to avoid them. The main thing to do is a basic risk assessment – this doesn’t have to be anything fancy. In most cases it is just a simple job of walking around looking for trips and traps for the unwary.
Is it visible?
Most trips and falls at work happen in places where the lighting is poor. One of the first questions you would be asked if you rang Accident Advice Helpline following a trip at work would be about visibility. If the whole area is dark your employer should take immediate steps to improve it but until then a warning sign or some hi-vis tape would fill the gap until it is addressed properly.
Is the situation avoidable?
With a little thought, most trips and falls at work need never happen at all. Working practices tend to become rather automatic and no one stops to think how they can be improved. Absorbent matting can make a wet environment much safer and if there is old and worn flooring a simple replacement or good quality repair can probably make the situation far less dangerous. Ironically, when a repair has been made it should be circulated to the staff so that they don’t ‘trip’ by avoiding a phantom hazard.
Alert everyone to the dangers of trips and falls at work
If everyone is keeping a look out for hazards, it makes the whole environment safer all round. Just as many hands make light work, so many eyes make a safe workplace. Make it easy for people to report hazards – just keeping a book is next to useless if no one monitors it and putting a very complex system in place is just as bad. Make sure that there is a chain of command with deputies to cover sickness and annual leave and hopefully the workplace will soon be as safe as anyone can make it. Of course, if the worst does happen, you have our 24-hour helpline to contact to get the ball rolling on your personal injury compensation claim.
Date Published: September 2, 2013
Author: David Brown