Slips and trips are the most common cause of major injuries at work and can happen almost anywhere. 95% of major slips result in broken bones and they can also be the initial cause for a range of other types of accident such as a fall from height.

Most slips occur in wet or contaminated conditions and most trips are due to poor housekeeping. The solutions are often simple and cost effective, a suitable assessment of the risks should identify the necessary controls and these should include (in no particular order):

  • Prevention of contamination
  • Management of spillages and cleaning regimes
  • Effective matting systems
  • Choice of suitable footwear
  • Design of workplace and work activities
  • Maintenance of plant and the work environment
  • Specification of appropriate flooring
  • Housekeeping
  • Effective training and supervision

Employees have an important role to play in managing risks at a local level. Actions can include:

  • Suggest ways of preventing contamination (water, oils, cardboard, waste etc.) from getting onto the floor
  • Make sure the floor is clean and dry
  • Clear up spillages immediately
  • Dispose of waste materials
  • Remove any obstructions
  • Avoid causing trailing cables
  • Store goods safely
  • Keep workstations clear of obstacles
  • Make sure flooring materials are level and secure
  • Mark slopes and changes of levels
  • Ensure you have adequate lighting
  • Wear sensible footwear
  • Think about visitors to your workplace, what do they need to know? Do you need to do more to protect them?
  • Follow everything you put in place


Further information can be accessed via the HSE Website page or the HSE leaflet Preventing Slips and Trips at Work (PDF 421KB).

Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0