Health & Safety

Health & Safety

Slips, Trips And Falls

Please remember to take extra care in the wet and slippery winter weather.  Andy Taylor circulated a Safety Alert this week regarding a fall in the UK on some stairs resulting in a shoulder injury.  However, as you will see from the Alert, his injuries could have been far worse if he hadn’t been holding the handrails.

Many people underestimate the risk of injury from falls on steps and stairways and fail to maintain 3 points of contact.  This risk was highlighted in the news only last week, where it was reported that 21 year old GB rower, Anna Thornton, is in a coma and described as in a “stable but serious condition” after falling down some stairs at her college in the US:

When reviewing these Alerts with your teams, in addition to stressing the importance of Near Miss/ Hazard Alert reporting and taking appropriate short-term action where hazards are identified, you may want to discuss the following points intended to help keep us safe of stairways:

  • Do you ensure you wear suitable footwear, with good grip and securely fastened?
  • Do you look where you are putting your feet?
  • Do you maintain 3 points of contact on steps and stairways, always holding the handrail?
  • Do you avoid using mobile phones and other distractions on stairs?
  • Are stairs in good condition and kept free of clutter?
  • Is lighting suitable?
  • Are procedures in place to grit external stairways in winter?
  • Do you STEP IN and Speak Up if you see colleagues, friends or family members not holding handrails?

THINK – It is estimated that over 1,000 people die every year falling on stairways in the UK.  Stairs are the place where most deaths and serious injuries happen in the home… make sure it’s not someone you know!  Please discuss these Alerts with your colleagues and consider if there is anything more you should be doing to keep yourself and them safe, also please display the Alerts on noticeboards.

Useful guidance from the HSE on avoiding slips and trips in the winter: