What are the Main Causes of Slips Trips and Falls?

What are the Main Causes of Slips Trips and Falls?

The main causes of slips trips and falls are trailing cables, slippery floors, damaged flooring, poor lighting and bad housekeeping.

A slip trip and fall are all three common causes of workplace injuries. In the UK, 37% of all workplace injuries are a result of them.[1] In addition, on average 50 people a year die from these three hazards in the UK alone.[2]

Main Causes of Slips Trips and Falls

According to HSE slips trips and falls advice, there are three things that can cause an accident. This is called the ‘trip potential triangle’[3], and it covers walkways, housekeeping and design in addition to maintenance.

As an employer, you are obliged to complete a slips trips and falls risk assessment to identify the following causes of risk in your own workplace.

Trailing Cables

We use a lot of electrical appliances at work now. In an office setting, there are loads of computer, monitor, internet, printer and charging cables all over the place. They present a trip hazard that can damage you, as well as your electrical equipment.

As a result, you need to manage your cables so that they avoid trailing over walkways. If they do and you cannot avoid it, you need to cover the cable to make a flat or curved surface.

Cable management can be easy, as many desks have a cable tidy to put wires through. As a result, this prevents them from dangling over or under a desk and over in the middle of a walkway.

Slippery Floors

One of the most common cause of slips in the workplace is slippery or greasy floors.

Tea, water, cleaning agents and other liquids all pose a slip hazard. This means that if there is a spillage, you need to clean it immediately. Alternatively, if someone is cleaning the floors and there is a ‘cleaning in progress’ sign, you should avoid the area.

However, if your workplace has a slippery floor all the time, you may need to change it to a section of carpet.

Damaged Flooring

Furthermore, uneven or damaged floor tiles or carpet can lead to slips trips and falls.

Sections of loose carpet or tiling can slide underneath your feet, leading to any of the three hazards. As a result, you need to make sure that you report broken flooring and get someone to fix it as soon as possible.

You can make your work surface more grippy if you use a mat, to prevent slips with repaired flooring.

Poor Lighting

Finally, poor lighting can obscure your vision and lead to trips and falls.

All workplaces can get dull easily, and you need appropriate lighting conditions. Not only is this important for your eyes whilst working, but you need to see around you to prevent incidents.

Make sure that you dot lights all around your workplace, as well as nice big windows to let in the natural light.

Bad Housekeeping

Finally, bad housekeeping and not tidying things away can lead to trips and falls.

By blocking workplace pathways and exits with items like boxes, files, and chairs, people are much more likely to trip over things.

Make sure your workplace, especially an office, is tidy. It means you may trip over things, and you can’t get somewhere quickly in case of an emergency like a fire.

For slips, trips and falls training, you can view our range of online health and safety courses. Both employers and workers have duties, and our course will provide the information. Our course is CPD and RoSPA approved and is designed to prepare your employees to spread awareness and prevent injuries from slips and trips.

You can view our online slips and trips course here.


[1] http://www.slipstripsandfalls.org.uk/slip-trip-and-fall-statistics

[2] http://www.slipstripsandfalls.org.uk/slip-trip-and-fall-statistics

[3] http://www.hse.gov.uk/slips/preventing.htm