Keep Safe From Slips, Trips, and Falls in Winter
Whether it’s due to ice, snow or wet conditions, slips, trips and falls are the most common types of accident during winter. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 31% of non-fatal injuries caused by slips, trips, and falls occur on the same floor or ground level.
Although we cannot control the weather, we can take measures to control our home or work environment. By assessing any potential risks and taking appropriate action, we can help to prevent serious accidents and injuries.
What are the risk of any slips?
Do you have any areas in or around your business premises that become very slippery in icy or wet weather?
For example, wooden decked areas can become highly hazardous in wintry conditions. One tip is to always have some rock ice in stock, which you can then distribute across any risk areas before icy weather sets in.
If you have any areas that typically experience a high level of footfall, you could consider repaving with non-slip flooring. For guidance, the HSE has a Slip Potential Model to help employers understand how to assess their risk of slips.
What could cause people to trip?
If you have recently carried out a risk assessment, you may have spotted certain areas that need maintenance. Cracked outdoor floor tiles or uneven paving can become even more dangerous in bad weather – for example, people cannot see where to walk in snow cover.
Make sure you carry out any repairs before the bad weather sets in. For advice, see the HSE Trip Triangle.
What should you do if someone were to have a fall?
This is where having a Designated First Aider on site could make all the difference. Depending on the severity of the fall, the person may need urgent medical assistance – for example, if they have banged their head and you suspect they may have a concussion.
How to help someone who’s had a fall:
- Are they conscious? If unsure, check their breathing and call an ambulance.
- Are they in pain? If they are lying on the ground, don’t move them unless they are in danger – even a small fall could cause broken bones.
- Are they bleeding? If they have a deep cut, try to stop the bleeding by applying direct pressure for 10 minutes, then cover with a dressing.
- Are they in shock? Even a minor fall could cause someone to go into shock, so ask the person how they’re feeling and check for signs.
- Always report any type of accident. Even a minor fall needs to be recorded in your workplace accident book.
“The Accident Book is an essential document for employers and employees, who are required by law to record and report details of specified work-related injuries and incidents.”
Accident Book – Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
When did you last carry out a Risk Assessment at your business premises? Do you have a Designated First Aider on-site? For more details on our training courses, call 07974 407988 today for a friendly chat.