The six most common objects or circumstances that were directly involved with the cause of an injury from slips trips and falls in a three year period were:
1. external traffic and ground surfaces (24%)
2. internal traffic and ground surfaces (11%)
3. steps and stairways (10%)
4. road transport (9%)
5. holes in the ground (3%)
6. sitting furniture (3%)
Identifying slip and trip hazards
Common slip hazards include:
– spills of liquid or solid material
– wet cleaning methods
– wind-driven rain through doorways
– a sudden change in floor surface, for example joins between carpet and polished timber
– change from wet to dry surface
– dusty and sandy surfaces
– the incline of a ramp
– loose or bumpy flooring
– low light levels
– use of unsuitable footwear
Common trip hazards include:
– ridges in floors or carpets
– worn floor coverings or broken tiles
– potholes and cracks in floors
– changes in floor level
– thresholds and doorstops
– floor sockets and phone jacks
– cables from power extension units
– loads that obstruct vision
– obstacles in traffic areas.
Things to consider—for flooring
– Can water be walked onto smooth floors (e.g. foyers) on rainy days?
– Are there any hard, smooth floors in wet or oily areas?
– Are there any leaks of fluids onto the floor from processes or machines?
– Are there any floor surface transitions not easily noticed (any ridge that is as high as a footwear sole or higher)?
– Is the floor slippery when wet?
– Is there poor drainage which could result in pooling of fluids?
– Are any anti-slip paint, coating profiles or tapes worn smooth or damaged?
– Are there any isolated low steps (commonly at doorways)?
– Are there any trip hazards due to equipment and other objects left on the floor?
– Are there any raised carpet edges or holes worn in carpets?
– Are there any tiles becoming unstuck or curling at the edges?
– Are there any holes or unevenness in the floor surface?
Things to consider—for stairs
– Is the lighting insufficient for ramps or steps to be seen clearly?
– Do any steps have too small a rise or tread or an excessive step edge (nosing)?
– Are any step edges (nosings) slippery or hard to see?
– Are the steps uneven or are there excessive variations in step dimensions?
– Are handrails inadequate on stairs?
– Are ramps too steep or too slippery?
Things to consider—outdoor areas
– Is there a build up of moss or other vegetation on pathways?
– Are there any surface transitions not easily noticed (any ridge that is as high as a sole of a shoe / footwear or higher)?
– Are there potholes in footpaths or walkways?
As you can see, many of these items are really obvious but we sometimes cannot see the forest for the trees. This means that sometimes it is good to have a reminder to have that
…’Ah, that’s right’…..moment.
Credit to QIA Group for this information.