Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls

Slips, trips and falls are a common cause of workplace injuries and can occur in any environment and in any industry. These incidents can occur on both elevated and flat surfaces, and can involve employees and visitors. Fortunately, many slips, trips and falls can be prevented.Active employee participation is necessary in order to prevent any hazardous conditions that could result in slips, trips or falls. Taking personal responsibility for your own actions and proactively participating in creating a safe environment – before a problem occurs – can help reduce the possibility of slips, trips and falls. Though the responsibilities at each job site differ, the following are good general practices:

  • Most importantly, watch where you are walking and exercise care given the conditions.person falling off of ladder

  • Wear shoes with skid-proof soles.

  • Correct and/or report slip, trip and fall hazards.

  • Use proper ladders for assigned tasks.

  • Make sure there is adequate lighting in all work areas.

  • Conduct routine inspections of ladders, stairs, and walking and working surfaces.

  • Immediately clean up spills.

  • Always hold onto handrails when walking up and down stairs.

  • Keep all work areas, passageways, storerooms and service rooms clean and orderly.

  • Maintain clean and dry floors. Where wet processes are used, drainage needs to be maintained and gratings, mats, or raised platforms provided.

  • Check that all floors, work areas and passageways are free of cracks and breaks, protruding nails, splinters, holes or loose boards.

  • Keep all aisles and passageways clear and in good repair with no obstruction across or in aisles that could create a hazard.

  • Make sure the aisles are sufficiently wide enough where mechanical handling equipment is used.

Key Causes of Slip, Trip and Fall Injuries

  • Slipping off a step (while going up or down)

  • Not holding onto hand rails

  • Not paying attention

  • Not using a flashlight

  • Tripping over curbs, potholes and other ground obstructions

  • Water, ice, paper and other substances on the ground or floor

  • Sitting in unsafe chairs or leaning back too far in them

For more information on slips, trips and falls...

Occupational Health and Safety Administration

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health