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Preventing slips, trips and falls at work.

Use this checklist to manage the risk of slips, trips and falls in your workplace

Workplace: Location: Date of assessment:

Assessment completed by:
Work area management representative: Work area health and safety representative (HSR): Others (workers, consultants):

How to use this checklist:
This checklist is designed to help employers meet their legal obligations to manage risks associated with slips, trips and falls.

Follow the checklist to:
• assess the risks associated with slips, trips and falls (under two metres) • list possible solutions • implement those solutions. When assessing the tasks and introducing risk controls consult with HSRs and where possible, involve the workers who do the tasks.

Control any risk
This checklist provides general guidelines only. It is important to control any risk you find. In addition, arrange for regular workplace inspections, paying particular attention to: • floors, stairs and lighting • housekeeping (general cleanliness and cleaning methods) • variations in conditions, according to time of day and year, such as rain, cloudy days or night/day • personal protective equipment.

Keep a copy for your records
You should retain a copy of this document if it shows a risk of injury.

worksafe.vic.gov.au/backonsafety

Yes Comments (eg when and where is it happening?) See the end of this checklist for more information on flooring characteristics and surface treatments to improve slip resistance. Install exhaust systems to remove dust or vapours to prevent settling on floors.Preventing slips. follow clean-up procedures as detailed in the MSDS. SLIPS Does the workplace pose a risk of injury due to slips. worksafe. Have an effective cleaning and maintenance program with warning signs and procedures for managing immediate risks. Install floor surfaces to reduce risks caused by water. Use slip-resistant products on stair treads. mud near external doors • kitchen (particularly around sinks. grease or dust. Use drip pans and guards where possible spills might occur. Have a system in place to change oil from fat fryers. If not practical. Choose floor surfaces that ensure non-slip conditions when people move from one floor surface to another.vic. Are there spills on floors? • meals areas • around oil reservoirs • ingredients or chemical granules • machinery spills or metal shavings • inadequately cleaned or maintained floors • spilled product • oil stains in undercover car parks. trips and falls of below two metres? Tick yes if any of these risk factors are present: SLIPS – Common hazards Are floor surfaces inappropriate? • deep carpeted areas in high-use trolley areas • surfaces that become slippery when wet • expanded mesh flooring or steps (increased risk to people wearing heels). Ensure efficient drainage of outdoor ground surfaces. Is drainage inadequate in wet areas? • toilets and shower rooms • kitchens. Examine the production process to eliminate leaks. textured floor surfaces are recommended. Put anti-slip mats at entrances. fat fryers. Generally. urns) • areas where liquids are handled • toilets • wet floors from cleaning during work hours. Are there sudden changes in floor surfaces? • carpeted showroom to polished timber storeroom • sheet vinyl counter to tiled kitchen • concrete workshop to terrazzo office • loose. ramps and other hazardous walking or working surfaces. Are areas prone to liquid on the floor? • rainwater. introduce a system to ensure people do not walk on surfaces until they are dry. trips and falls at work. Regularly clean and maintain floor and outdoor surfaces. When machinery spills occur. outdoor ground surfaces to steel decking. Clean floors outside working hours. Treat floor surfaces to make slip resistance of both surfaces similar. granular.au/backonsafety .gov. Install suitable drainage.

Ensure suitable footwear is worn appropriate to the task. trips and falls of below two metres? Tick yes if any of these risk factors are present: SLIPS – Common hazards (continued) Is there any growth over floor surfaces? • moss on external pathways • mould on bathroom or laundry floors. Yes Comments (eg when and where is it happening?) Regularly clean and maintain floors and outdoor surfaces. Are hand trolleys used on ramps? Ensure workers are aware that pushing or pulling a trolley can increase the risk of slipping. as well as kick rails (at least 100mm high) on both sides to prevent trolleys running off the edge.vic. Keep outdoor surfaces free of leaves. Do any ramps present a slip hazard? • smooth. SLIPS Does the workplace pose a risk of injury due to slips. Provide handrails and midrails. clippings. Slips – Footwear Are there areas where footwear is used for a specific task or to prevent slips? • safety gumboots in meat processing area • steel capped safety shoes in storeroom. Ensure ramps are made slip resistant with foot grips or a textured surface. refer to AS1657:1992 – Fixed platforms. trips and falls at work.gov. Are there areas where footwear is inappropriate for the task? • high heel shoes worn on step-ladders (eg accessing stock in shops) • leather-soled shoes in a freezer.Preventing slips.au/backonsafety . paper and gravel and remove moss or slime. worksafe. stairways and ladders. steel loading dock • slippery timber ramp • painted concrete surfaces. Yes Comments (eg when and where is it happening?) Ensure suitable footwear is chosen – check supplier’s and manufacturer’s specifications for selection of footwear for different surfaces and risk factors (refer to AS 2210 – Safety footwear). walkways. Slips – Ramps Are steep ramps used by workers? Yes Comments (eg when and where is it happening?) The ramp gradient must be no more than 1:8 For more detailed information. mud.

Are personal items stored around workstations? • handbag or gym bags placed on floor under desk. such as sweeping flour off benches onto floor. Yes Comments (eg when and where is it happening?) Regularly review and maintain uneven. Ensure aisles or passageways remain uncluttered at all times. Are there low obstacles where workers walk? • empty pallets • angle iron. Provide locker for storage of personal items. remove or establish barriers around low obstacles. Is equipment stored in aisles and walkways? • cleaning equipment in storeroom aisles • trolleys kept in front of back door. Designate a safe storage area for trolleys and equipment. Are there untidy work areas? • workshop with tools. Are goods stored in aisles and walkways? • stock placed in storeroom aisles • stock placed in front of exit doors. worksafe. rubbish left lying around • bakery with poor cleaning routines. Check for.au/backonsafety . Ensure appropriate cleaning procedures are in place. damaged floor surfaces.vic. trips and falls at work.Preventing slips. such as collecting flour waste from bench directly into rubbish bin. Designate an area for storage of inward goods that does not block walkways. Provide adequate storage racks. Regularly review and maintain external access areas.gov. trips and falls of below two metres? Tick yes if any of these risk factors are present: TRIPS – Common hazards Are internal floors damaged? • broken tiles. Is external access poor? • uneven or loose paving • poorly maintained footpaths and garden edges. worn floor coverings • uneven floor surfaces • poorly maintained access routes. coach bolts or other items protruding from floor • extension cords. Provide a dedicated storage area for cleaning goods. TRIPS Does the workplace pose a risk of injury due to slips. waste or materials on floor • storeroom with raw materials.

Ensure slip resistant door mats at entrances are secured or large enough to remain in place. Paint a bright strip (highlight) on nosing where lighting is inadequate.Preventing slips. Increase lighting in areas where there are stairs and steps. slip resistant on the top and bottom sides. even step dimensions and suitable radius on nosing. Ensure stairways that are too steep are only used for secondary access and have sturdy handrails on both sides. Ensure metal dock plates have grip surfaces to prevent slipping and that the edges of dock plates are smooth and have no sag. TRIPS Does the workplace pose a risk of injury due to slips. Ensure stairs have adequate foot space. Ensure hand grips allow people to use a power grip. Are there steps and stairs with poor lighting? • nosing is poorly defined. or guarded. worksafe. Ensure steps are non-slip and have adequate foot space.gov. Do loading docks pose a risk? • height difference between loading dock and floor of truck • gap between loading dock and truck • slippery and uneven metal dock plates.au/backonsafety . TRIPS – Steps and stairs Are there steep or slippery steps and stairs? Yes Comments (eg when and where is it happening?) Use a non-slip bull nose finish on steep or slippery steps and stairs. Ensure steps and hand grips are provided in the cabin so there are three points of contact for hands and feet at all times. Are workers at risk from falling into or out of vehicles? • truck cabin • forklift • ride-on mowers • mobile cleaning equipment. trips and falls of below two metres? Tick yes if any of these risk factors are present: TRIPS – Common hazards (continued) Can clothing get caught on objects or surfaces? Yes Comments (eg when and where is it happening?) Ensure items that may catch clothing are removed from aisles and passageways. Rubber-like mats are long wearing. trips and falls at work. Does unsuitable matting create a risk? • flattened cardboard cartons used as floor matting • mats with turned up edges • unsecured mats at entrances • loose floor mats. Are there inappropriately designed steps and stairs? • stairs with inadequate foot space • steps of varying height • steps with excessive radius on nosing. Ensure dock levellers or bridge plates are used when transferring materials between dock and truck.vic.

loads should not be carried by hand on the stairs. Ensure isolated low steps are highlighted. steps or stairs. trips and falls at work. TRIPS Does the workplace pose a risk of injury due to slips. Are workers at risk from moving trolleys or large objects down stairs? • using trolleys with handles that are too short and contribute to extreme postures • moving large objects that prevent people seeing the steps • using high force to move heavy objects on narrow or smooth treads.gov. If this is not possible. Do steps have a sturdy handrail or guard rail? Ensure there are sturdy handrails or guard rails on all platforms. Are workers at risk from carrying loads on stairs? • carrying a load where they can’t grip a handrail to prevent a fall • carrying a large load where they can’t see the steps beyond the load. Where possible.Preventing slips.vic. Are there isolated low steps (commonly at doorways)? • at cold room entrances • speed humps where people walk • at loading docks. trips and falls of below two metres? Tick yes if any of these risk factors are present: TRIPS – Steps and stairs (continued) Are there small landings (or no landing) where doors open onto stairs? Yes Comments (eg when and where is it happening?) Provide a landing with sufficient space for the door to fully open without striking anyone. ensure the load is small and light enough to carry in one hand to the side of the body. Provide ramps. Eliminate isolated low steps if practicable.au/backonsafety . Use only stair-climbing trolleys on stairs. Use lifts where possible. worksafe.

Treat the surface of grates or covers to improve slip resistance.vic. passageways and emergency exits are appropriately marked and clear. Maintain damaged grates or covers. worksafe.Preventing slips. Is there insufficient headroom in aisles or walkways? Ensure there is sufficient headroom for the entire length of any aisle or walkway. trips and falls at work. Do grates or covers over floor openings create slipping or tripping hazards? • missing or damaged grate or covers • grates or covers that are not continuous with floor surface or that are smooth or slippery. Ensure floor grates or covers over openings such as drains do not require workers to alter their walking pattern to step over them. welding operations or loading docks? Yes Comments (eg when and where is it happening?) Install barriers to separate pedestrians from mobile plant and vehicles. machinery. trips and falls of below two metres? Tick yes if any of these risk factors are present: TRIPS – Traffic management Are workers exposed to risks in aisles or walkways near mobile plant.au/backonsafety . Ensure there is safe clearance for walking in aisles where powered mechanical handling equipment is used. Ensure permanent aisles. TRIPS Does the workplace pose a risk of injury due to slips.gov.

steps or stairs are used to climb or move down levels.vic. timber or vinyl. FALLS – Ladders Is stock.Preventing slips. pushing or pulling while standing on a ladder is hazardous and should be performed on a work platform. or at too shallow or too steep an angle. Is a ladder used as a work platform? • to pick items from racking • to put away items into storage. trips and falls at work. Are workers required to jump or step down to lower levels? Ensure appropriate ladder. Ensure ladders or steps are used correctly – a person’s belt buckle should never extend beyond the side rails. Ensure only chairs with glides or ‘castors with brakes’ are used on smooth. not held onto. Ensure chairs with standard castors are only used on carpeted surfaces. hard surfaces such as concrete. Ensure ladders or steps are not stabilised with makeshift materials to even up floor surfaces.au/backonsafety . they are not designed to enable a worker to perform work while standing on a ladder rung. worksafe. FALLS Does the workplace pose a risk of injury due to slips. Bending. Ensure ladders and steps are stable or secured when in use. Remove damaged chairs from workplace and replace or fix them.gov. Ensure the tops of ladders are tied to a secure structure. Are any unsuitable chairs or seats used? • damaged chairs or seats • chairs with standard castors on vinyl floors • high stools without foot ring or place to support feet • unstable high stools or high chairs • office chairs with less than five-point base. Ensure high stools are fitted with foot ring. Ensure ladder or steps are well maintained with non-slip feet and treads in good condition. Are unstable or inappropriate ladders/steps used? • chair used as ladder • straight ladder used on smooth surfaces • straight ladder used to get stock from racking. Ensure ladders are used correctly – ladders are designed to provide access to a work area. trips and falls of below two metres? Tick yes if any of these risk factors are present: FALLS – Common hazards Are workers required to use inappropriate step-stools? • broken chairs • overturned milk or other crates. Are ladders or steps used incorrectly? • reaching too far to either side • standing on the top rung of a ladder • used on uneven floor surfaces • rung ladder used without being secured. twisting. materials or displays stored or stacked to a height where ladders or steps are required? Yes Comments (eg when and where is it happening?) Ensure stock. Ensure adjustable chairs with a five-star base are used for tasks that require prolonged keyboard work. Yes Comments (eg when and where is it happening?) Use a safety step to gain access to items at head or shoulder height. lifting. materials or displays are not stacked above shoulder height. Ensure small items are suspended in a tool belt. Use platform ladder or order-picking forklift to manually get stock from racking. reaching. Place large items into storage using a forklift or other mechanical lifting device. Ensure no items are carried by a person while on a ladder. The top three rungs of a straight ladder or the top two steps of a step ladder should not be used for the feet.

Direct lighting so that does it not throw distracting shadows on steps. ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS Does the workplace pose a risk of injury due to slips. Check workers are not exposed to environmental factors that may affect their behaviour or performance eg heat.vic.gov. you must control it. stairs or other walking surfaces.au/backonsafety . walking surfaces • lighting that can make it difficult to see pedestrians or mobile equipment operators. chemicals or electricity. Do environmental factors affect workers? • working in cold room or freezer • working in wet conditions in plant nursery • working in humid conditions in smoke house. Provide graduated lighting between areas.1-2006 – Interior and workplace lighting). trips and falls at work. 80-240lux for general areas such as loading bays and areas requiring intermittent use (refer to AS 1680. stairs. trips and falls of below two metres? Tick yes if any of these risk factors are present: ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS Are there poorly lit work areas and walkways? Yes Comments (eg when and where is it happening?) Use lighting levels of approx. Do sudden changes in lighting levels occur between areas? • between outdoors and a dimly lit stairwell • between outdoors and loading bay. cold. trip or fall. worksafe. Is there lighting that is badly directed? • lighting throwing distracting shadows on steps. If you found any risk of an injury due to slip. Ensure pedestrians cannot enter areas of vehicle traffic if they have not acclimatised to the lighting levels. Ensure lighting is not directed so that it makes it difficult for pedestrians and mobile equipment operators to see.Preventing slips. Ensure vehicles stop and drivers acclimatise before entering an area where there are pedestrians.

IMPLEMENTING RISK CONTROLS Date prepared: Work area management rep: Others (workers.Any risk of a slip. IMPLEMENTING RISK CONTROLS worksafe.gov. trip or fall must be eliminated or controlled as far as practicable. consultants): Work area HSR: Location: Persons considering controls Timetable to fix problems Short-term (immediately to within a few weeks) Person responsible Completion date Reviewed date Action completed Preventing slips.au/backonsafety Person responsible Completion date Reviewed date Action completed Action required Medium-term (within a few weeks to a couple of months) Action required . trips and falls at work.vic.

Carpet has shorter life than a hard floor surface but it can be a cost effective solution in many cases. Fluids are very quickly drained away. hospital wards. standing mats. lecture rooms. However. exterior areas and bathrooms. toilet and similar. however slip resistance vinyl with aggregates moulded in. Factory areas where fluids are unavoidable and overhead platforms and walkways. Terrazzo Quarry tiles and ceramic tiles Glazed ceramic tiles Bathrooms and toilets. Must be sealed to prevent absorption of oil and water. When used in small local areas. Interior surface is often sealed to prevent dusting and absorption of liquids but this can increase slipperiness. particularly if polished. older factories and offices. Can be slippery when wet if highly glossed or polished. is available. Hose down or steam clean. Must be fixed down well at the edges and joins or will cause a tripping hazard. Table 1 Flooring characteristics and typical applications Floor type Concrete Characteristics Rounded aggregate can be slippery when concrete wears. Slippery in wet conditions if smooth.gov. Slip resistance depends on finish and wear. standing mats. Use angular aggregate for pathways. Needs to be sealed to prevent absorption of oil and water. particularly with soapy water. shower rooms. but preferable not to install these products on floors. factory and warehouse floors. Slippery when wet. but likely to be slippery when wet. Softer than vinyl. Lay in place in panels separated by metal strips. corridors. Plastic matting Carpet Corridors. Low water absorption and good resistance to chemicals. carpets of synthetic materials may be used in entrance areas (to absorb water and dirt). Office building foyers and pedestrian areas in shopping centres. Bathrooms. Not suitable where hot spills are likely. Tends to be slippery when wet or oily. Factory areas with very heavy traffic. Fibreglass grating worksafe. particularly when worn. Steel plate Rubber Less effective in wet conditions. trips and falls at work. This product can have grit particles moulded into upper surface to provide very good slip resistance. gymnasiums. but can be slippery when wet. where washing is required to avoid water getting tiles. Installation should be wall-to-wall to avoid the hazard of tripping on edges. Interlocking PVC extrusions gives good drainage and slip resistance. Ramps and areas requiring extra slip resistance. Slippery when wet. but can be moulded with aggregate or profiles to improve slip resistance. or to span openings in floors. offices and areas where quietness is a high priority and spills unlikely. Needs frequent cleaning.au/backonsafety . stair treads. Some slip resistance treatments available. Special cleaning equipment like high-pressure water spray may be needed as a build-up of grease or dirt can make these tiles ineffective. Vinyl tiles and sheet Light industrial environments. small kitchens. Meeting halls. Gives good appearance and wears well. such as entrances it should be installed in a recess in the floor. excess polish is used or dusty.Preventing slips. Cork Timber Light industry. Use sheet form. Typical application External pathways. Easy to clean. Usually with round stud pattern. Suitable for kitchens where hot spills might occur. Usually with a raised pattern (for example chequer plate) which provides some slip resistance.vic.

Preventing slips. is welded to prevent water seeping through and to allow more thorough cleaning. vinyl ester resin and epoxy resin. granite. For wet conditions. granite. trips and falls. Abrasive blasting Grinding Grinding with diamond saw Coatings Acknowledgement Information on floor treatments and flooring characteristics and typical applications re-produced from Comcare’s Guide to preventing slips. silica sands. However. With the right aggregate. Applicable to concrete.au/backonsafety . terrazzo and clay pavers. ceramic tiles. For the best slip resistance. grooves 2-3 mm deep. If an existing floor is a problem and it’s too expensive to install new flooring. terrazzo. clay pavers. terrazzo. though the surface may not look as attractive and cleaning methods may need to be changed. Strong acid etches Applicable to concrete. marble. but not with oil. Mild etch Applicable to ceramic tiles. Make sure that sheet flooring. trips and falls at work. This treatment can give a rougher surface. This will reduce cleaning and drying time. depending on the level of chemical. They may increase slip resistance but the tile may still be too slippery. Table 2 Floor Treatments To increase slip resistance. particularly if the treatment does not significantly improve the quality of the floor. spaced at 7-10mm would give slip resistance under oily conditions. Oil can still make the surface slippery. Applicable to concrete. clay pavers and vinyl. Should make it suitable for slip resistance with water. The continuation between the floor and the wall should be rounded to prevent fluids getting under the edges. A range of base materials is used. ceramic tiles. The cost of treatment varies considerably and it is a good idea to do a cost analysis. and silicon carbide granules. terrazzo and clay pavers. floors need to have greater friction or adhesion.gov. flexible polymers. the coatings will include some aggregate such as rubber particles. granite. so it could be used to give slip resistance under oily conditions. slip resistance under oily conditions is quite feasible. ceramic tiles. For example. steel plate and timber. including acrylics. they wear quickly and should be considered as a temporary solution or receive regular replacement. clay pavers and steel plate. traffic or slip resistance needed. such as vinyl. Adhesive strips Applicable to all flooring: Mineral-coated adhesive strips are useful for localised slip hazards such as stair treads and ramps. Loss of the sealed surface could lead to staining. treating the floor is another. Applicable to concrete. continue the flooring material or treatment up the walls to at least 75mm. polyester resin. marble. Slip resistant footwear is one strategy. worksafe.vic. it is possible to apply a floor treatment. Applicable to concrete. marble. particularly for soapy water. These treatments can be tailored to the application. granite. Successful treatments are those that substantially increase the surface roughness of the flooring.