What is the Difference Between Slips, Trips, and Falls?

by | Sep 5, 2019 | slips trips and falls

More often than not, we use the terms “slip”, “trip”, and “fall” interchangeably. But there are a number of differences between the three:

A “slip” is typically caused by a wet or slippery surface or spilled items. A “trip” is caused by an obstacle of some kind causing you to stumble. And a “fall” often happens as a result of either a slip or a trip.

In terms of workplace safety then, it’s important that you are not only able to identify the differences between slips, trips, and falls, but that you – and your workforce – are suitably trained so as to prevent as many instances of these happening as possible.
Slips, trips and falls make up over a third of workplace accidents and are the most common workplace hazard with roughly 119,000 cases last year. Here, we take a closer look at the differences and how online training can educate your workforce to avoid accidents like these.

What is a “slip”?

When someone slips, it has more often than not been caused by something wet or slippery – such as water or ice – on the floor. Slips can also be caused by items spilled on the floor such as beads or other round objects.
A loss of friction with the surface can cause the foot to slip outwards and upwards, sometimes resulting in a fall. Common injuries from slips include those to the back of the head, neck, back, and hip.

Slipping can be prevented by ensuring that all floors are clean and dry. Where this is not always possible – in instances of a leak for example – “Wet Floor” signage can go a long way to alerting people of the potential hazard.

What is a “trip”?

Tripping is typically caused by fixed objects, uneven or broken surfaces, or obstacles in the path. In a workplace, items left on the floor, poorly lit spaces hiding obstructions, or even loose carpets and rugs can all be a trip hazard.
When a moving foot meets with resistance in the form of one such obstacle or object, forward and outward momentum can cause a fall. Some of the common injuries people may sustain from tripping and falling include: injuries or abrasions to the front of the head or face, fractures of the hands and / or arms, as well as injuries to the elbow and knee.

Again, it is easy to prevent trips at work by ensuring that all walkways are free from obstructions, pathways are clearly lit, and any uneven or broken surfaces are cordoned off or clearly marked.

Online training causes – such as our slips, trips, and fall training course – are also one of the best ways to prevent accidents and injuries in the workplace. Some of the benefits for the slip, trip and fall training course include:

  • Employees will have a heightened awareness of everyday hazards
  • Communicates your organisation’s housekeeping procedures to employees
  • Mitigate potential liability in case of an accident caused by hazardous substances

To find out more about our slip, trip, and fall training course or any of our other online training, contact us today on 01237 477 931


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