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Hidden Hazards: The Most Common Reasons for Slips Trips and Falls

The Most Common Reasons for Slips Trips and Falls

Statistically about 30% of all injuries suffered in the workplace are the result of slips, trips and falls that occur on the same level. While we appreciate workplaces can be hazardous places, many accidents at work are caused by something that should be easy to avoid. This article takes a closer look at what are the main causes of slips, trips and falls and why they have accounted for some 170,000 injuries in UK workplaces over the last 12 months.

Slips, trips, and falls on the same level may seem like a minor issue. So other than feeling embarrassed when it happens in front of watching workmates, what is the real problem? Well, the truth of it is that when you slip and fall even from what is a relatively low height, it is possible to sustain quite severe injuries.

I’m sure you will agree this is more than embarrassment as it could result in you having to spend time at the doctors or take time off work and lose money. As we alluded to earlier, HSE statistics show there were 170,000 injuries as a result of slips, trips and falls on the same level. Over 18,000 of these injuries were reported, and many of them were serious, involving broken bones, dislocations, and more than seven days off work. Read on to discover the common reasons for slips, trips and falls, and how to make a slip trip and fall claim.


Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Common Causes List
  3. Prevention Steps
  4. Injured at Work?
  5. What are the Things that Cause Slips
  6. What are the Main Causes of Trips
  7. What Can I Do If I’m Injured in a Slip, Trip or Fall at Work That Wasn’t My Fault


Common Causes List

So, let’s take a more in-depth look at the main causes of slips, trips, and falls and what you can do to avoid becoming another statistic. See the below list of common reasons for slips, trips and falls that you should try to avoid:

  • Wet floors
  • Slippery floors
  • Dusty floors
  • Loose mats and floor coverings
  • Unsuitable footwear
  • Icy conditions
  • Wet ground
  • Obstacles
  • Loose flooring
  • Uneven flooring
  • Obstructions
  • Trailing cables
  • Bad lighting
  • Poor housekeeping


Prevention Steps

The steps you can take to help eradicate slips, trips, and falls are relatively straightforward. However, they rely on employers and work colleagues being aware of the issues and taking action to eliminate them. These actions can be as simple as just moving a cable or just cleaning up a spillage.


Injured at Work?

However, if you are injured at work as a result of negligence by a third party, be that your employer or another employee, you could be entitled to make a slip, trip and fall claim. We’ll take a closer look at what to do if you feel you have been injured through no fault of your own later but first let’s look at the main causes of slips, trips and falls in the workplace.


What are the Things that Cause Slips

One of the most obvious causes of workplace slips is spillages, however, this is by no means the only one. Here are a few examples of other things that facilitate slips and trips:


1. Wet Floors

Wet floors are usually the result of spills, leaks, or recent cleaning. Rain, snow or other inclement weather can lead to entrance halls becoming wet as water makes its way into the building on peoples’ footwear and clothing.

Poor maintenance is another thing that leads to wet floors as it can allow rain into your building.


2. Slippy Conditions Underfoot

Highly polished floor tiles can be hazardous when laid in inappropriate locations, such as bathrooms or entrances, where the floor can become wet. Even in dry conditions, wearing footwear with smooth soles or socks on this type of flooring may lead to slipping.


3. Floors Covered in Dust

Dusty floors can be just as dangerous as wet or highly polished ones. This is because the dust will prevent the soles of shoes from getting a proper grip on the floor. This can be especially problematic in joinery workshops.


4. Mats and Other Floor Coverings That are Loose

Certain mats can pose a slip hazard if they lack a strong grip on the underlying surface. Stepping on them incorrectly can cause them to slide out from under you which can lead to slips and injuries.

In an effort to safeguard a new floor temporarily, workers may use sheets or cardboard. However, if the floor protection is not properly secured to the surface, it too can slip and slide beneath you.


5. Wearing Unsuitable Footwear

Shoes with polished and slippy soles are certainly not conducive to helping you move around without fear of slipping. Always consider the type of environment you are working in when choosing your footwear.


6. Snow and Ice

This relates to anyone working especially in the cold winter months. Even if you arm yourself with the correct footwear it is imperative you take care when moving around to minimize the chances of slips and falls.


7. Wet Ground

Another one for those of you who brave the elements working outside. Heavy or constant rain can make conditions underfoot muddy and treacherous. These sort of conditions are often found on construction sites.

Another thing that can pose significant problems and increase the chances of slips is the presence of wet leaves on pathways.


What are the Main Causes of Trips

Having highlighted what to look out for where slips are concerned its time to turn our attention to trips. Unfortunately, trip hazards are everywhere in workplaces, so here are a few things you need to be aware of:


1. Obstacles

Slips trips and falls at work are often the result of people leaving tools and other pieces of equipment in walkways and other areas regularly used by staff. While these items are an important part of some working environments failing to tidy them away when not in use is a recipe for disaster.


2. Flooring that is Loose or Uneven

Things like rugs that are curled up at the corners or pieces of cardboard covering a wet patch can be real trip hazards. The same with uneven flooring such as lifted tiles, loose floorboards, potholes, broken paving slabs are also trip hazards and the cause of many accidents at work.


3. Trailing Cables

We all need electricity and that usually means cables. Leaving cables trailing around and failing to tidy them up is one of the main causes of trips and falls in the workplace.


4. Poor Lighting

Obstacles and obstructions become more problematic when they’re not visible. If you can’t see them, you can’t steer clear of them.

Ideally, these obstacles won’t exist in the first place, but adequate lighting plays a crucial role in recognizing hazards and provides an opportunity to remove them before accidents occur.

Furthermore, lighting can be utilised to emphasise alterations in floor level, enhancing overall safety.


5. Poor Housekeeping

Inadequate housekeeping ranks as a primary contributor to workplace slips, trips, and falls. Neglecting to tidy up after oneself results in the accumulation of obstacles discussed earlier. Consistent waste removal and regular cleaning are essential for maintaining a workplace that is free from slip and trip hazards.


What Can I Do If I’m Injured in a Slip, Trip or Fall at Work That Wasn’t My Fault?

If you are unfortunate enough to be injured at work as a result of a slip, trip or fall that wasn’t your fault, you could be eligible for compensation. To find out how to go about making a slip, trip and fall claim for compensation, get in touch with the team here at Tylers today. Our team of experienced personal injury solicitors has a track record of getting our clients the slips and trips at work compensation that they deserve.

Our team works on a no win, no fee basis meaning that you can start your claim without worrying about costs. We will take our costs which will be agreed upon up front from your final settlement. So to get your slip, trip and fall claim underway contact the team here at Tylers today on 0800 699 0079 or via our online contact form.

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