Personal Injury

10 Slip, Trip or Fall Hazards to Look Out For

Estimated read time: 4 mins

Carrie Tennick, October 26, 2021

A slip, trip or fall can leave you embarrassed – and worse, you could end up really hurt.

With the weather turning, and more leaves on the ground, we thought it would be a good time to look at 10 hazards that could result in a slip, trip or fall.

Slips, trips and falls at work

Slips, trips and falls are the most common accident in workplaces. These incidents caused 29% of non-fatal injuries to employees in 2019/20, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Employers are legally required to ensure that they are doing all they can to keep workers safe.

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 require employers to keep flooring in good condition and free of any obstructions.

This means they should examine flooring and their potential to cause slips, trips and falls in their risk assessments. Once they’ve identified possible hazards to health, they should do all that is “reasonably practicable” to remove them from the workplace.

Maintenance and housekeeping should also be carried out regularly to minimise the risk of dirt, leaks and obstructions causing falls. This is important as, according to the HSE, most trips are caused by obstructions in walkways.

10 hazards that could cause a slip, trip or fall

  • Certain types of footwear

Not all slip or fall hazards are due to the outside world. Your choice of footwear can be a contributing factor to falls. Consider where you’re going and make sure you wear the right shoes. Try to avoid items like flip flops or sandals, unless you’re on the beach for some autumn sun.

  • Ice

As we enter the colder months, ice starts to feature as a slip hazard. It’s particularly hazardous early in the morning in areas that don’t see a huge amount of foot traffic. So wear the right shoes and take small, careful steps. And if you don’t see any ice but it’s cold enough, look out for black ice.

  • Loose flooring

If carpet, tile or laminate is becoming unstuck from the floor or curling up at the edges, this presents a trip hazard. Mats, rugs and other floor coverings can also be a danger if they’re not properly secured to the floor. Look out for areas where this might be an issue and walk carefully.

  • Obstacles and obstructions

They’re not always immediately visible. Obstacles can be small or bad lighting can mean you don’t see them. This is why regular cleaning is essential. And don’t forget that wet floor warning signs can become obstacles if left out too long.

  • Poor lighting

This can be a particular danger in stairwells, where a misstep could cause a serious injury. Inadequate lighting can mean you don’t see obstacles, uneven floors or trailing cables. If you develop an issue with lighting – such as a blown light bulb – don’t delay sorting it out.

  • Rushing

Running or walking too quickly can mean you aren’t paying the necessary attention to where you’re going. When there’s the risk of a slip or trip hazard, make sure you slow down and watch where you’re going.

  • Slippery surfaces

Floors can be slippery when dry, so even if the weather is decent, this is a hazard worth considering. Polished floors can cause slips, as can dusty, greasy or leaf-covered surfaces. This is more of a risk with certain types of surfaces, so be careful on tiles, marble or metal.

  • Trailing cables

One of the most prominent trip hazards in almost all workplaces, trailing cables can result in serious injuries if they cause an accident. We helped our client J claim £6,100 for a shoulder injury after tripping on a trailing cable.

  • Uneven surfaces

Not just a concern when different types of flooring meet, uneven surfaces can affect your stability outside too. Potholes, uneven pavements and cracks in paving can cause you to take an unnecessary tumble.

  • Wet surfaces

Both inside and outside, wet floors and surfaces can be a danger. Rain, cleaning, leaks and spills can cause wet floors. Try to ensure everyone knows to clean up spills quickly and alert someone if they notice any leaks.

After a fall

Slipping and tripping is a part of life. Few of us haven’t had to pick ourselves up after a fall. In most cases, they’re just one of those things.

But there are times when a slip, trip or fall could have been caused by someone’s negligence. And if this happens, you could be entitled to compensation for any injuries you suffer.

First4Lawyers could help you take legal action for an injury caused by a slip, trip or fall that was the result of negligence. This could be against your employer, the local council, or a company – such as supermarket.

To talk to us and find out whether you could be entitled to make a claim, just give us a call or start your claim online.

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