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Health and safety at work

Health and safety at work - what it means.

Slips, trips and falls (staircases)

Statistics show slipping and tripping to be the single most common cause of major injury in UK workplaces and they are often the initiators of accidents attributed to other causes, such as some machinery accidents, scalding and falls from height.

The law

Under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, employers must ensure that their employees and anyone else who could be affected by their work (such as visitors, members of the public, etc.), are kept safe from harm and that their health is not affected. This means slip and trips risks must be controlled to ensure people do not slip, trip and fall.

It is a requirement under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 to prevent, or at least control, slips, trips and falls, so far as is reasonably practicable. Regulation 12 require floors to be suitable for the workplace and work activity, kept in good condition and kept free from obstructions. Also, people must be able to move around safely.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require employers to assess risks (including slip and trip risks) and, where necessary, take action to address them.

What do I need to do?

As a business there are a number of measures you can take to prevent slips, trips and falls including:

  • Put in place an effective management system
  • Make sure you are aware of the relevant laws and regulations.
  • Ensure you have an up to date Slips, trips and falls risk assessment
  • Carry out regular checks of areas e.g., walkways, stairs etc. to ensure they are good condition
  • Make sure workers wear footwear that is suitable for the environment they are working in
  • Ensure staff receive sufficient training and know how to report any issues
  • Make sure workers wear footwear that is suitable for the environment they are working in

Further guidance

Published: 6 December 2022

Last updated: 6 December 2022