The law regarding slips and trips is contained in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It states employers must ensure health and safety for their employees and also those affected by their work. This is as far as ‘reasonably practicable.”
The law requires floors to be in good condition and not obstructed so that people can move around safely (The Workplace (Health, safety and welfare) regulations 1992).
Employers must also assess slip and trip risks where necessary (The management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999).
However, employees also have a duty not to put themselves or others in danger.
What should be in place to prevent slips and trips?
- Employers should have a risk assessment. This involves considering what risks are there.
- Control measures should be in place to prevent injury.
- Getting employees to wear the appropriate footwear if necessary for the work conditions.
- Give consideration to the flooring & making sure it’s not contaminated
- Have effective cleaning methods
When is the employer liable?
- If an employee has a slip or trip at work, the employer would be liable if they did not take adequate steps to prevent the accident occurring. E.g., not marking a wet floor with a sign.
- If employer was not giving sufficient training to carry out a job. E.g., operate a machine.
- Employer failed to upkeep equipment.
- Failure to carry out risk assessments.
- Failure to make sure there are no obstructions.
Evidence the employee should have
- The employee should keep track of expenses incurred as a result of the accident. E.g., medical expenses.
- Take photographs of the injury and of where the accident occurred.
- Report the accident at work so that there is a record of it.