Introduction to slips, trips and falls

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Slips, trips and falls are a significant problem affecting every workplace, from factory floor to office. Slips and trips account for about 20 per cent of all lost time injuries every year.  They can result in serious injuries and lengthy periods of time off work.  

A slip occurs when there is insufficient friction between floor surface and footwear.  Slippery floor surfaces, contaminated floors and inappropriate footwear are risk factor that can lead to slips in the workplace.

A trip occurs when there is excessive friction between a surface and footwear and/or the person’s foot is caught by an obstruction while moving.  Trips can also occur when unexpected surface variations is encountered.

A fall may occur as a result of many incidents.  A fall can occur when an individual is not able to correct their upright posture after they have tripped, slipped or loss their balance some other way.  A fall can also occur because the surface that a person is standing on or stepping onto collapses or moves. Falls may occur from a height or on the same level.

This section of the website provides information about how to prevent and respond to slips, trips and falls hazards to reduce the costly outcomes for your business. It focuses primarily on falls on the level rather than falls from a height. For information on falling from height refer to Working at height section of the website and the Code of practice - Managing the risk of falls at workplaces.

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