You are hereRisk Sharing / Safety / Safety Corner / Slips, Trips & Falls

Slips, Trips & Falls


  • Second only to automobile accidents causing personal injury;
  • On stairways alone, falls result in almost two million disabling injuries yearly; and
  • Industrial falls cause over 1000 deaths each year.

Slips:  Loss of balance caused by too little friction between your feet and the walking surface.

Factors that can cause slips are

  • ice;
  • oil;
  • water;
  • cleaning fluids; and
  • other slippery substances.

Prevention of Slips

  • always use hand rails and watch your step on stairs;
  • keep your stairways lit and free of objects;                           
  • don’t obstruct your vision;
  • avoid walking in areas which pose slipping hazards;
  • always clean up spills of slippery substances;
  • prevent spills; and
  • wear slip resistance soles.

Trips:  Loss of balance caused by interference between your forward motion and some object.

Factors that can cause trips are

  • Obstruction in the walkway;
  • Objects that project into the walkway;
  • Poor lighting; and
  • Uneven walking surfaces.

Prevention of Trips:

  • keep walkways free of objects;
  • repair uneven flooring; and
  • install proper lighting.

Falls:  Are caused whenever you move too far off your center of  balance.

Factors that can cause falls are

  • Makeshift ladders;
  • Incorrect use of ladders;
  • Reaching too far up or to the side while on the ladder;
  • Ladders set on loose or uneven ground; and
  • Slip or trip often ends in painful falls.

Prevention of Falls

  • never use makeshift ladders;
  • use the appropriate ladders;
  • use the ladders properly;
  • follow ladder safety rules;
  • use fall protection when required.

Ladder Safety Rules

  • Set the base out from its support one foot for every four feet of working ladder height;  (1 to 4 rule)
  • Have some one hold the base or tie off the ladder securely;
  • Set the ladder on firm stable ground;
  • Extend and extension ladder three feet beyond its contact with the building;
  • Never use the top rung; and
  • Always inspect a ladder before use.