Slips, Trips and Falls in Healthcare


In 2021 slips trips and falls (on the same level) accounted for 390 non-fatal healthcare incidents and was the second highest reported accident trigger in the Health and Social care Sector.

25% of reported incidents resulted in the person involved being absent from the workplace for over one month.

wet floor sign and barrier

Factors Contributing to Slips Trips and Falls

Consider the following contributing factors when managing the risk from slips, trips and falls.

  • Floor surface - it must be suitable for the work activity and kept in good condition.
  • Floor contamination and obstacles - prevent contamination (wet floors, greasy floors, paper wrappings etc) and improve housekeeping and you will reduce if not eliminate the risk.
  • Floor cleaning - stop pedestrian access to wet floors, spot clean where possible.
  • Environmental aspects - ensure adequate lighting for walkways and level changes, good entrance design (e.g. canopies) can help.
  • People - their behaviour and physical attributes can be influencing factors. A positive attitude to health and safety by all in the workplace will create a safer working environment. Taking account of physical disabilities such as poor vision, limited mobility etc in planning and design will help reduce the risk.
  • Footwear - wearing suitable footwear for the environment and work activities will help reduce the risk.


Key Preventive Measures include:


  • Have a system in place to manage health and safety
  • Risk assess and identify high risk areas
  • Consult with and involve staff
  • Get the flooring right from the start, it must be suitable for the work activities
  • Have a system in place to deal with spills without delay
  • Encourage good housekeeping
  • Encourage a 'see it sort it' mentality
  • Clearly mark slopes and changes in level
  • Review your cleaning procedures to ensure they do not contribute to slips and trips
  • Provide slip resistant footwear where other controls are not adequate, trial footwear in the workplace to ensure it is effective.



  • Co-operate with your employer to reduce the risk from slips and trips
  • Report any health and safety risks to your employer/manager
  • Deal with spills straight away
  • Adopt and encourage good housekeeping practices
  • Report any accidents or near misses
  • Wear and take proper care of any safety footwear provided.


Manufacturers and Suppliers

  • Ensure articles provided for use at work are safe and comply with relevant standards
  • Provide adequate information about the appropriate and safe use of articles at work


Further Information