A recent survey jointly conducted by the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and the Health and Safety Executive has found that one third of all major injuries in the workplace are caused by slips, trips and falls.
It was recommended that measures such as anti-slip matting, good lighting and better training be introduced by employers to help prevent such accidents.
The Survey found that in 2009/2010:
- There were 31,913 workplace 'same level' falls, i.e. not from height, with four of these causing fatalities.
- There were over 10,000 workplace falls from height.
- One in five workplace injuries lasting over three days were due to slips, trips and falls.
They point out that it is a misconception that accidents such as these are unavoidable and state that employers and employees can both take precautions to help reduce such accidents. Where accident prevention techniques have been employed injuries can be reduced. Measures to reduce the danger of these accidents include:
- Good lighting to illuminate floors.
- Markings to highlight a change in floor level
- Ensuring employees wear suitable footwear.
- Slip resistant flooring.
Obviously the measures to be considered by employers will vary from workplace to workplace. For example anti-slip matting is more likely to be effective where surfaces run the risk of becoming wet, such as in commercial kitchens, health centres and such like.
James Braund a specialist personal injury solicitor with Trethowans LLP, says "This recognition that often employers can do more to prevent such accidents should be welcomed. However it is also important to recognise that such accidents are not simply limited to employees; members of the public visiting a workplace run similar risks. Where an employee or a member of the public is injured in such an accident it is very important that they seek professional and prompt legal advice to ascertain whether they may have a claim."