Businesses in Rhondda Cynon Taff are being urged to carry out a spring clean to reduce the number injuries from slips, trips and falls. The plan is part of the Health and Safety Executive’s Shattered Lives campaign. Figures show that last year the county reported 183 injuries from slips, trips and falls – the fourth highest number in Wales. HSE principal inspector Mike Thomas says preventing these types of accidents is often straightforward for businesses – and it could save money in the long run.
He said: “Good housekeeping contributes significantly to preventing trip hazards. “Removing obstacles, tidying away trailing cables, and ensuring walkways are clear of hazards can reduce the risks for employees and others who are in the workplace. “Keeping it clean also helps. Clearing up spillages is a very simple way of preventing accidents, but for some businesses, the nature of the work means the floor is always wet or spillages can’t be avoided.
“In those cases businesses should do what they can to keep floors clean, but also install slip-resistant flooring and issue their staff with suitable footwear.”
The cost to society of the slips, trips and falls in this county alone in 2006/07 was just over £2.5m. But there is a much wider human cost which the Shattered Lives (see also #LadderSafetyMonth) campaign aims to highlight. Mike Thomas added. “Falls from height invariably cause injury and in some cases death.
“It is often thought that slips and trips are fairly minor accidents, but they can result in significant and debilitating injuries, so they shouldn’t be treated any less seriously,”
“This is everybody’s problem – employers and employees – and if you spot a hazard don’t just assume someone else will deal with it. You could be saving someone from serious injuries by taking action to remove the hazard.”