NECA's top tips to prevent slips, trips and falls 

As with every risk or hazard in the workplace, the prevention of injury or damage as a result of slips, trips or falls, begins with a risk assessment to identify the potential issues and implementing the appropriate controls. 

Slips, trips and falls: What are they?

  • Slips can occur when your foot loses traction with the ground surface, often due to slippery surfaces.
  • Trips can occur when you catch your foot on an object or surface. In most cases, people trip on low items that are hard to spot such as uneven edges in flooring, loose mats, open drawers, an untidy environment, electrical cables or an untidy work area.
  • Falls can result from a slip or trip but many occur during falls from low heights such as steps, stairs and footpath kerbs.

It is not uncommon for several risk factors to exist at the same time, e.g. floor surface and condition, objects on the floor, open drawers or loose cables.

In Western Australia, over the past 5 years 23.5% of all Lost Time Injuries (LTIs) have been a result of slips, trips and falls. A significant number of these incidents could have been prevented, had the cause been identified through a workplace inspection or risk assessment of the environment (Take 5) and appropriate controls such as good housekeeping.

Once controls have been put in place to reduce the risk of injury or damage from slips, trips and falls, it is important that they are reviewed to ensure that they are effective and have not created additional safety hazards in the workplace.

Our responsibility to both ourselves and those around us is to ensure our work environment is free from hazards and risks, which may result in slips, trips and fall injuries.  If you see a hazard or risk, please remedy it.