How to Make a Workplace Free from Slip and Falls

How to Make a Workplace Free from Slip and Falls

From Anny David

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Slips, trips and falls are the most common causes of accidents at work, in all types of business - from heavy industry to office administration. Many of them have serious consequences such as broken bones and even concussions. Such accidents may also lead to a long-term inability to work. It is essential that the risk of slipping or tripping hazards is taken into account in the occupational risk assessment. It is the employer's duty to take the appropriate actions to reduce the likelihood of such events.

 The Most Common Causes of Trip and Falls

  • hooking onto thresholds and installations leading across passages
  • damage to surfaces
  • items lying on roads
  • spilled liquids
  • surface dust
  • icing at crossings

How to Maintain Roads, Floors, & Walkways

The surface of roads, parking lots, storage yards, and passages should be level and have adequate load-bearing capacity. Floors should be stable, even, non-slip, non-dusting and resistant to abrasion and pressure, as well as easy to clean. Also, the surfaces of stairs, platforms and ramps should not be slippery, and in places where dust may accumulate, regular sweeps are essential.

There should be no thresholds or steps on transport roads and in warehouses. If the floor levels are different, these differences should be compensated by ramps with a slope adjusted to the type of means of transport used. If necessary, measures should be taken to limit the possibility of skidding on the ramp. 

Elimination of the Contamination

Surfaces become slippery when liquid is spilled on them or when there is a film of liquid left behind. Anything on the floor surface can be treated as contamination: water, oils, grease, dust, spilled small objects, snow and mud.

Dirt can also be caused by the production process or the result of equipment malfunction. They can be brought from the outside on the soles of shoes or end up on the surface completely accidentally, like spilled coffee. The best ways to avoid this occurrence is to take care of the technical condition of machines, place shoe wiping mats in the entrances, and use trays to catch leakages. If contamination is unavoidable, the surface of floors and passageways should be made of non-slip materials and employees should be provided with appropriate footwear. Overall neglect will lead to nothing but unfortunate injuries and possible personal injury cases against the responsible parties.

Other Factors

The behavior and attitudes of employees have a huge impact on increasing or minimizing the risk of accidents at work. The employer plays an important role in organizing work in his plant. The rhythm of work should not force employees to be too rushed or distracted. In the case of manual transport work, the transferred load must not limit the visibility of the road on which the employee is moving.

Carrying loads in haste not only increases the likelihood of a fall, but also makes its consequences more serious. When assessing the risk, the employer should consider the specific properties of the plant, such as moving objects and people. Limitations on vision, hearing or movement can also increase the risk of an accident. 

Proper lighting also has an important influence on the organization of work. Dangerous places are harder to spot in the dark. In turn, too much light, especially incident at low angles on shiny surfaces leads to the so-called glare effect, making it difficult or even impossible to spot danger. This phenomenon can be reduced by the appropriate selection and arrangement of lighting fixtures. The use of blinds can help with glare caused by natural light. 

Atmospheric conditions are also factors influencing the working environment. In the period of intense rainfall, water may get into work rooms and communication routes, creating flood waters where it is much easier to slip. Ongoing removal of even small amounts of water from the floors in such cases is essential.

On the other hand, negative temperatures may cause ice to form on the pavement. It’s no coincidence that most slip and fall accidents occur during the winter. Ongoing snow removal from roads and squares, preventing icing, and sprinkling sand on the passages are the employer's obligations in winter. Similar measures should be used in cases where the low temperature results from production processes, such as those experienced in cold butcher shops.


Regardless of profession, everyone is exposed to trips, slips, or falls at work. Any labor law attorney will emphasize the importance of always keeping a workplace safe. Maintaining an organized cleaning and repair schedule is essential for the ongoing productivity of any company.

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