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Slips and trips account for ‘staggeringly high’ number of workplace injuries

Posted in Latest on Sep 13, 2018


The most up to date report released by the Health and Safety Executive has named slipping and tripping as the single most common cause of injuries in UK workplaces including construction sites.

Accounting for around 30% of total incidents, the worrying statistics show that approximately 1000 cases resulted in broken bones or dislocations; with the latest data also showing that there were 609,000 self-reported non-fatal injuries to workers in 2016/17, and a further 70,116 employer reported injuries.

And yet despite the staggeringly high figures, experts operating in the health and safety arena argue that many such injuries could be avoided with the implementation of effective management of access routes and working areas.

Stuart Anderson from Construction Skills People, which delivers a wide range of vocational qualifications and commercial training courses specifically for the construction sector, said: “Like many workplaces, construction sites can be dangerous places if people fail to follow the appropriate health and safety measures in place to protect them, and others around them.

“Whilst slips and trips are not responsible for the majority of fatalities that happen in the industry, they are responsible for a staggeringly high portion of broken bones and dislocations; and in many cases such injuries were wholly avoidable.

“It is vital that construction sites are well-managed and kept clean and orderly to reduce the risk of injury and accidents, and to ensure that everyone makes it safely home to their loved ones at the end of every day.”

According to Anderson a lack of clear walkways, obstacles and wet surfaces are often to blame for the incidents that occur.

He said: “One of the most common causes of slips and trips can be avoided by providing clear walkways that are clearly marked and signposted, and provided with adequate lighting. Where changes in level are unavoidable, such as in doorways, consider installing ramps. And if that is not possible, make sure that any changes in level are well signposted.

“Similarly, some slips and trips are caused by building materials or waste getting in the way. This can be avoided by ensuring workers keep their work and storage units tidy, designating specific areas for waste such as skips and bins, and planning deliveries well in advance to minimise the amount of materials on site.

“Making sure than any slippery areas are well signposted and cover with stone or grit to provide traction is another key action, whilst also ensuring than correct footwear is worn at all times.”

He went on to advise that where possible run cables at high level to avoid trips.

“Such changes and implementations may seem small, and inconsequential,” he continued, “but they can have a really positive impact on the well-being of those people who are working onsite.”