Staying safe: Avoiding slips, trips and falls

Slips, trips and falls cost enormous amounts each year to society. Amounting to around £800m, this is a major issue facing businesses, organisations and clubs like yours every day. But they’re often not taken seriously.

Most slips, trips and falls are completely avoidable. And it usually doesn’t cost very much to put measures in place to keep yourself, your staff and your members safe.

Stats from the HSE

With over 21,000 incidents and injuries related to slips trips and falls taking place in the last 12 month period reviewed by the HSE, this is an issue that isn’t going away.

Claims for these incidents can run into the thousands, or tens of thousands. Meaning that mitigating the risk and taking control of the situation is key to avoiding major claims on your insurance.

Your legal responsibility

There are several pieces of legislation that govern how you should keep your staff, members and customers safe. These are:

  • The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 (read more)
  • The Management of Health & Safety At Work Regulations 1999 (read more)
  • The Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations 1992 (read more)

Each of these defines your legal responsibilities and actions you should take to make your club safe. You can get more information on each of the above by following the links shown.

Managing the risk

It’s important you have a strategy to manage the risk of slips trips and falls. This way, if the worst does happen, you have the evidence to prove that you have taken all reasonable measures to prevent anyone coming to harm.

There are a number of things you can do straight away, such as:

  • Maintain a record of all slips, trips & falls that take place, monitoring frequency, severity and cause. Make a note of every incident, however small or seemingly insignificant.
  • Make sure you have a ‘competent person’, to manage and mitigate your risks. You can work alongside our risk management department if you don’t have a competent person, and we can take on that role for you.
  • Undertake and document risk assessments for any areas of your club where an individual may be at risk of a slip, trip or fall. These should be adapted as changes happen in your club. For example if you’re having renovation work, or specialist cleaning undertaken that goes above and beyond your day to day maintenance.
  • Document controls that have been put in place to reduce obstructions and contamination on floors.

If you need support in assessing your risk, there are a number of tools available to you. The HSE themselves provide a number of resources such as the Slip Assessment Tool (SAT) and Slips & Trips E-learning Package (STEP).

However, for complete peace of mind, we’d recommend investing in expert assistance to make sure your strategies are robust, and could stand up to scrutiny should the worst happen and the HSE become involved in a claim.

Don’t take your eye off the ball

One of the most important things, is to actively monitor your risk. Don’t put procedures in place then forget about them until something happens.

Set yourself a routine or schedule, and review all potential risks at periodic intervals. This will demonstrate that you are doing everything within your power to protect yourself, your staff and your members or customers.

Constant monitoring also means that you are also consistently reducing the risk for everyone, making sure that it’s highly unlikely for an accident to happen.

Particular times to be aware of, are in periods of severe weather, any material changes to your premises, or through cleaning schedules.

What next?

Review the advice above, and take a look at your existing policies and procedures. If you’re not sure they stack up, or if you think there are areas of risk at your club. Take action now. Don’t wait until it’s too late, and someone gets hurt.

If you need support or advice through this process, we have a specialist risk management team on hand to walk you through the minefield of regulation around this topic. And we can provide the peace of mind you need to stay safe.

So get in touch with our team, who’ll be happy to support you.

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Oliver Calvert

Oliver Calvert