Reducing the risks of Slips, Trips & Falls

Winter is upon us, and it's a time when slips, trips, and falls become a common occurrence, leading not just to minor discomfort but also to severe injuries. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reports that these accidents are responsible for 40% of all workplace injuries in the UK, with associated costs reaching an astonishing £512 million in lost productivity each year.

Why Slips, Trips, and Falls Happen

Understanding why slips, trips, and falls happen, especially during the winter season, requires delving into the various risk factors that become particularly pronounced during the colder months. While some hazards exist year-round, winter introduces a fresh set of challenges that employers and employees alike should be mindful of.

Year-Round Risks


  1. Wet Floors: Whether due to rain or spilt substances, wet floors can turn any environment into a hazard zone in an instant.
  2. Poor Lighting: Dimly lit areas can obscure vision and make existing risks harder to see, like that unexpected step or misplaced tool.
  3. Obstructions: Boxes, wires, or uneven surfaces, can present a tripping hazard, and you're far less likely to recover your balance when you can't see what you're tripping over.

Winter Amplifiers


  1. Fallen Leaves: Once picturesque autumn leaves can create a carpet of slippery mush on pathways, becoming a danger zone for pedestrians.
  2. Snow and Ice: One of winter's most obvious hazards, ice and compacted snow turn regular surfaces into skating rinks without the fun.
  3. Reduced Daylight: The fewer daylight hours mean more activities are conducted in low light conditions, increasing the risk of mishaps due to poor visibility.
  4. Cold Temperatures: Surprisingly, cold weather can affect your balance and reaction time, making you more susceptible to falls.
  5. Bulkier Clothing: Winter gear, although necessary, can impede movement and make it difficult to notice potential hazards or move quickly to avoid them.

Preparation is Key

The mantra for winter safety is preparation, preparation, preparation. And it begins with risk assessment. Simon Safety advises businesses to consider the unique winter challenges and integrate them into their safety plans. This might mean changing cleaning methods or adjusting work environments.


Simon Safety's Role in Your Winter Preparations

At Simon Safety, we recommend a proactive approach to winter safety.

  1. Weather Monitoring: Keep tabs on weather forecasts and prepare accordingly. Deploy gritters on driveways, parking areas, and walkways before ice forms.
  2. Footwear: Offer slip-resistant footwear for your employees, which are designed for icy conditions. Although there's no legal standard specifically for slip resistance, high-quality safety footwear can significantly reduce risk.
  3. Signage and Visibility: Make sure to mark out spillage areas and clear them multiple times to prevent the formation of black ice. Use adequate lighting to make hazards visible.
  4. Employee Training: Educate employees on the importance of reporting hazards or near-misses. Encourage them to carry only what they can manage and leave their hands free to stabilize themselves.

Employees' Role in Winter Safety: It's a Two-Way Street


While employers bear a certain degree of responsibility for maintaining a safe work environment, employees aren't mere passengers on the road to safety. In fact, they're co-pilots, especially during the winter months when the risks of slips, trips, and falls are magnified. Here's how employees can play their part:


  1. Time Management: Give yourself a few extra minutes to get from point A to point B, especially when conditions are icy or snowy. Rushing and slippery surfaces don't mix well.
  2. Be Alert: Keep an eye out for hazards like black ice, wet leaves or unmarked obstacles. If you see something, say something. Your vigilance could prevent an accident.
  3. Appropriate Footwear: Wearing non-slip shoes can provide extra grip on slippery surfaces. Employees should invest in good quality footwear that offers both comfort and safety.
  4. Hands-Free Movement: Keep your hands free whenever possible. Carrying heavy objects can compromise your balance and make you more prone to falling.
  5. Report and Record: If you come across a hazard or experience a near-miss, report it immediately. This not only aids in prompt resolution but also adds to the organisation's safety data, allowing for more effective future planning.
  6. Clean Up: If you're the first to discover a spill or a slick patch, do your bit by cleaning it up or alerting the cleaning crew. A proactive approach helps build a culture of safety.

A Shared Duty: The Path to Safer Work Environments


At Simon Safety, we're not just a supplier; we're your partner in safety. We believe wholeheartedly that creating a safety-conscious culture is a collaborative effort involving employers, employees, and safety equipment providers like ourselves. That's why our range of products is carefully selected to provide robust solutions tailored to your specific workplace needs, especially during winter.

As the temperature drops and risks rise, let's not forget that we're all in this together. Our collective actions make all the difference in shaping a safer, healthier work environment. So this winter, let's make a pact to look out for each other and walk together on a path that's not just productive, but also safe and secure.

For more information on how Simon Safety can support your business's winter preparations, contact us:

📞 01646 600 750


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