Our Checklist for Slips & Hazards Spotting In The Workplace
July 2022

Any workplace, no matter the industry, will be presented with hazards. If not properly managed or reduced, these will increase the risk of injury and accidents - leaving you prone to legal action and your employees in an unsafe environment. Therefore, performing a risk assessment and understanding the specific hazards in your work environment is vital. Here at Quantick Safety Systems, we’re experts in safety solutions. This is why we’ve created this checklist to help you spot slips and hazards that may present themselves.
Why Perform a Risk Assessment?

In accordance with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, you must ‘protect the health, safety and welfare’ of all of your employees, guests, visitors, clients and the general public. Potential hazards must be identified and steps put in place to either eliminate or minimise them. These will be unique to every working environment, depending on several factors. Consider the size of your business, the number of employees, the frequency of new visitors in your building and the type of machinery you use. All of these factors will impact how severe a risk is. And a good, well-structured risk assessment is the recommended way to identify these.

To date, there is no specific legal structure required for a professional risk assessment. As long as you have a way to record your findings and store them for future review, you can lay it out in any way you see fit. However, if this is the first time you’re carrying one out or if you’ve recently moved to a new setting, there is an increased possibility of missing something on the way. This is why we’ve pulled together this checklist with advice and tips on performing a risk assessment in most settings.
Why Focus on Slip Hazards?

Risk assessments should take into account all types of work-placed hazards. These include:

Safety Hazards - Normally associated with those working with machinery.
Biological Hazards - Situations such as exposure to substances and diseases and normally associated with healthcare workers.
Physical Hazards - Hazards associated with working in extreme environments such as those with loud noise and radiation.
Ergonomic Hazards - Relative to workers who put their bodies under strain, such as lifting or sitting for extended periods.
Chemical Hazards - Linked to those who work with dangerous liquids such as flammable gases or solvents.
Workload Hazards - Associated with hazards that cause stress or strain.

Many of the hazards that fall into the above categories are easy to identify - large equipment that could cut through skin or exposure to chemicals that impact skin health. But, did you know that most work-based accidents actually happen as a result of slips, trips and falls? In fact, the HSE reported that 29% of accidents were because of these hazards with handling, lifting or carrying causing only 11% in the next highest category.

Understanding where and why you have slip hazards in the workplace can significantly improve safety and reduce the risk of employee absence.
Checklist for Slips and Hazards

Go through the points below and see how many of them are relevant to your working environment. For each one, you will need to work with your safety representative to identify an appropriate means to eliminate or reduce this risk.
Exterior:

Are the pathways around your workplace kept clear of weeds, dropped leaves, mud or other natural debris?
Is your location more prone to ice build-up?
Does the pathway around your building incorporate different levelled grounds? (This can include small steps or slopes)
Are the pathways well maintained or are there loose paving stones or cracks?
Are your fire exits exposed to the elements?

Entrances:

Do you move onto a raised or sunken level when you step through the entrance?
Is the ground around the entrances anti-slip and weather-resistant?
Does rain make any of your entranceways slippery?

Walkways:

Are all cables or mats secured down to the floor?
Are there any changes in level as you walk through the walkway?
Is any anti-slip flooring on the floor and is it still smooth or damaged?
Are there any other trip hazards in the corridors or hallways?
Are there low-level light environments in the walkways?

Stairs:

Is it easy to see the end of each stair?
Are any stairs or stair nosings damaged, rounded or slippery?
Do you have appropriate handrails fitted?
Can the handrails be reached easily?
Are the steps all consistent in height and depth?

Work Environments:

Do you work with fluids, solids, dust or debris?
Can these contaminants get onto the floor?
Is the floor around working environments slippery?
Are working environments properly housekept and tidy?
Are any machines properly maintained to prevent leaks, spills etc?
Is there appropriate drainage where there needs to be?
Do walkways ever become blocked or unusable?
Are the walkways uneven?

Cleaning and Maintenance

Are all spills cleaned up quickly?
Do you use wet mopping which could increase the slip hazard?
Are people still able to walk through areas while they are being mopped?
Are warning signs left after the spill has been cleaned up?
Is the floor slippery, even when it’s not wet or is dry?
Is cleaning equipment tidied away or left out in walkways?

The points made above aren’t all-encompassing and there will be individual slip hazards that present themselves in your setting. The best way to perform a risk assessment is to walk through the premises, identifying any area where a trip could happen. Speak to your employees who will have a clearer understanding of the risks at hand. And, make sure to put a plan into place that reanalyses and asses the same risks at regular intervals during the year. This way you can make sure that any measures taken are effective.

Quantick Safety Systems are specialists in the design and supply of slip-prevention products, including anti-slip solutions. If you have any questions regarding risk assessment or implementing the right methods, feel free to get in contact with us 01934 864360