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SLIPS, TRIPS & FALLS ATHYSTE


We’ve all heard the frightening statistics, but something in the back of our mind always says: “It won’t happen to me.” However, the fact that over 10,000 workers suffered serious injury, because of a slip or trip last year, is something that can’t be ignored. Tomorrow’s Health & Safety’s Co-Editor, Eve Douglas, looks at what the repercussions can be for you if one of those workers is yours, and how you can improve the safety of your workforce.


Anyone involved in any profession, at almost any given time, could be at risk of having a slip, trip or fall at work. Yes, most slips occur in wet, high up or slippery conditions, but not all of them do and the reason that they are so common is that they can happen anywhere. In fact, slips and trips are responsible for over a third of all reported major injuries.


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So how do you stop your company, quite literally, falling prey to these easy to avoid accidents? And just how liable are you when it happens in your business? Numbers aren’t on your side, with the cost to employers averaging at over £500 million a year thanks to a loss in production and obvious costs such as injury compensation and damages. Hidden costs can


easily be accumulated as well in the form of clerical efforts, general fines, loss of image (word of mouth – an employer’s best friend and foe!) and temporary labour and training costs due to a loss of expertise and experience. All this before we’ve even got on to the cost to the injured individual, who will suffer everything from reduced quality of life (if their injury is bad enough)


worry, stress, pain and loss of income to boot.


Under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, it states: “Employers have to ensure their employees and anyone else who could be affected by their work (such as visitors, members of the public, patients etc.), are kept safe from harm and that their health is not affected. This means


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