Over a third of all major injuries reported each year are caused as a result of a slip or trip (the single most common cause of injuries at work). These cost employers over £512 million a year in lost production and other costs. Slips and trips also account for over half of all reported injuries to members of the public.
Recognising the importance of slips and trips, the Health and Safety Executive and local authorities have included this topic in their programmes of work designed to achieve national targets set to improve health and safety performance. These targets were published by the Government and the Health and Safety Commission in the Revitalising Health and Safety strategy statement of June 2000. Legal actions brought as a result of an injury can be extremely damaging to business, especially where the public are involved. Insurance covers only a small proportion of the costs.
Anyone at work, but particularly employers, can help to reduce slip and trip hazards through good health and safety arrangements. Effective solutions are often simple, cheap and lead to other benefits.
Slip, trip and fall rates by employment sector
This image shows the number of incidents per industry, and the number per 100,000 employees which allows a side-by-side comparison of the various industries in terms of risk.
In terms of non-fatal injuries, approximately 30,000 people per year sustain what the HSE refers to as an “over 3 day injury” – or in other words injuries lasting for longer than 3 days. Almost 75% of over 3 day injuries are caused by slips, with 35% of these taking place on wet surfaces – the majority occurring during the wetter months of the year – October to March.
Outside the workplace a further 32 fatalities were recorded involving members of the public – 72% of these were falls, the remainder being caused by slips or trips.
2010/11 Statistics courtesy of HSE.Click for The HSE Guide "The Importance of Floor Cleaning"