Spring clean!

Poor housekeeping often leads to slips and trips, which are the most common cause of injury in the workplace.  They are also the most reported injury to members of the public and, on average, they cause 40% of all reported major injuries in the workplace.

There are three different areas of the law that housekeeping and slips and trips fall into.  The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.  They require:

  • floors to be suitable, in good condition and free from any type of contamination or obstructions – good housekeeping.  People trip over unexpected obstacles, so it is important to keep floors clear of obstructions.  People should be able to move around safely.  Are you providing sufficient storage and bins?  Are you promoting a tidy workplace and encouraging a ‘see it, sort it or report it’ attitude amongst workers and contractors?
  • inside flooring surfaces should be capable of being kept sufficiently clean
  • so far as is reasonably practicable, waste material shall not be allowed to accumulate expect in suitable receptacles
  • employers to ensure the health and safety of all employees and anyone who may be affected by their work.  This includes taking steps to control slip and trip risks
  • employers to assess risks (including slip and trip risks) and, where necessary, take action to address them

As an employer you must manage health and safety risks in your workplace.  Therefore, you will need to carry out a risk assessment to ensure that you are doing enough to prevent harm.  Think about the real risks, those that are most likely to cause harm, how an accident could happen and who might be harmed.  Ask your employees what they think the hazards are.  They may notice things that are not as obvious to you and may have some good ideas on how to control these risks.  Record your significant findings and what you currently have in place to prevent slips and trips.

The solution may be a straightforward as ensuring that spillages are cleaned up promptly so that individuals do not slip, or using matting to stop floor becoming contaminated, or good housekeeping – ensuring walkways/work areas are clear of obstructions.

If you need further advice on slips and trips, please contact us on 01480 210195



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