SLIPS, TRIPS AND FALLS STATISTICS
Ground clutter, uneven or slippery floor surfaces, poor lighting, or lack of signage all contribute to thousands of workers getting injured every year from Slips, Trips and Falls.
Hazards and risk controls
Slips occur when there is too little friction or traction between footwear and the walking surface
Trips occur when the foot collides with an obstruction or there is foot contact with a highly tactile surface, resulting in the loss of balance and a likely fall.
Falls occur because of either a slip, trip, loss of balance, or where the surface a person is standing on / stepping onto, collapses or moves from underneath their footing them causing the person to rapidly descend from a height or on the same level, to the ground or lower level without control.
Tips for eliminating hazards
You should consider the design of floors, stairs, lighting, drainage and storage.
Work procedures can also impact on the incidence of slips and trips. For example, develop procedures that avoid the build-up of rubbish throughout a production process.
When selecting and buying footwear, think about whether it has good slip resistance properties along with any other safety features you need. For example:
- In wet conditions the shoe sole tread pattern should be deep enough to help penetrate the surface water and make direct contact with the floor.
- In dry conditions the shoe sole tread pattern should be a flat bottom construction that grips the floor with maximum contact area.
- Urethane and rubber soles are more effective than vinyl and leather soles for slip resistance. Sole materials that have tiny cell like features will be slip resistant.
Risk analysis and strong policy around what is acceptable footwear for the job being performed will help prevent slips, trips and falls.
Statistics and Research
Over a 12 years study, slips, trips or falls:
- Caused the death of 2 workers per month on average
- Led to 23% of serious claims
- Were caused by environmental factors* 56% of the time.
Environmental factors can include slippery surfaces following rain or spills, poorly designed or maintained walkways, poor lighting on stairs and walkways and trip hazards for example from poorly stored materials.
Types of injuries
Most common injury locations:
Body area Injury numbers % of all falls
Knee 4,930 20.7%
Ankle 3,985 16.7%
Back 3,000 12.6%