The HSE is currently running a campaign titled “Shattered Lives” which is aimed at reducing the number of slips, trips and falls at work. The HSE’s website states that more than 1,000 workers a month suffer a serious injury following a slip, trip or fall at work.

As part of the campaign, the HSE has issued specific advice to the hospitality industry which can be found on its website. “To spur you into action our local Environmental Health Officer may visit you to find out what you are doing to reduce slips in your workplace”.

Preventing slips and trips is nothing new. The law states that: 

  • Floors must be constructed of a suitable material. 
  • Floors must be free of holes, must not be uneven or slippery and must not have a slope which expose employees to a risk to his or her health or safety. 
  • Drainage must be effective. 
  • Floors must be kept free from obstructions and articles / substances which may cause a person to slip, trip or fall.

Keeping floors clear and free of obstacles is just the start of preventing slips, trips and falls. Good lighting, cleaning procedures, housekeeping and provision of appropriate footwear and other protective equipment all contribute to maintaining a safer workplace.

Employers should be aware of the HSE’s guidance and be mindful that they do not need to have had an accident for an enforcement officer to pay a call to check that an employer has suitable procedures in place to reduce the risks of work place accidents.