Factsheet: Slips, trips and falls




  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
  • The Work at Height Regulations 2005


  • Slips, trips and falls on the same level are the most common cause of injury at work, causing around 29% of all reported major injuries in 2016/17.*
  • Slips and trips may lead to other serious accidents, for example falls from height or collision with machinery.*HSE statistics

What the law says

All employers must assess the risks in their workplace and this includes slip, trip and fall risks. Specifically, the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 specify that floors and routes of access and egress should be suitable, in good condition and free from obstruction.

What you can do

  • Carry out a risk assessment of your workplace and take sensible measures to control the risks.
  • Stop floors from becoming contaminated:
    • Use matting at entrances to prevent dirt and wet coming in from outside;
    • Prevent leaks and spills through maintenance and task design;
    • Make sure leaks and spills are fixed and cleaned up;
    • Plan and segregate pedestrian and vehicle routes.
  • Cleaning of floors:
    • Ensure that the correct cleaning materials and methods are used for your floors;
    • Do not introduce further trip or slip hazards while cleaning.
  • Checking and maintenance:
    • Replace damaged and worn flooring;
    • Ensure that lighting is sufficient;
    • Changes in level or uneven surfaces must be clearly visible;
    • Keep all walkways and work areas clean and clear of obstruction;
    • Make sure that tools, equipment and unused materials are stored correctly.
  • Non-slip footwear may be appropriate in areas where the floor cannot be kept clean and dry.
  • Design work processes so that rushing and overcrowding do not occur.
  • Ensure that working areas are set up so that trailing cables are not necessary.
  • Provide the means for employees to wipe or scrape their footwear before ascending ladders.
  • During cold weather, grit outside areas to prevent slips occurring on ice.

Many injuries from slips, trips and falls occur because of poor housekeeping. Ensure that all employees are of aware of the need to keep their working areas tidy


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