colleges and universities has been published by the
Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
public and employees caused by slipping and tripping incidents at
education institutions around Britain.
The free information sheet Preventing slip and trip incidents in the
education sector advises on controlling slip and trip risks, such as:
- Preventing slip and trip risks at the design stage by ensuring
appropriate flooring with a slip resistant surface
- Cleaning up spillages immediately and ensuring floors are dried
- Establish a sensible shoe policy for all staff and students
- Providing adequate lighting - poor lighting or glare can obscure
slip and trip hazards
- Information and training - control measures that involve changes
to working practices can be as equally effective as physical control
John Cullen, head of HSE's services sector said: 'Slips and trips can
happen to anyone. The majority of injuries caused by slips and trips
on the education sector are strains and sprains. More serious
injuries such as broken bones and head injury can also occur and can
lead to complications. Some slip and trip accidents can even result
in fatalities as a result of complications.'
But as well as being a major cause of injury, slips and trips can
also be a financial burden on the education sector.
Mr Cullen added: 'They have not always been taken seriously because
of a sense of inevitability about slip and trip incidents, and as a
result there has been poor management control. Yet they can be
prevented or controlled, often simply and at low-cost. So dealing
with them should be a priority.'
The guide has drawn on expertise from across the education sector and
focuses on the factors that contribute to slip and trip risks and the
practical precau tions that will reduce injuries. It also provides
information on eliminating slip and trip risks during the design
stages of construction or refurbishment.
1. Slip and trip incidents in education as reported to HSE 2000/01
READ IN SIX COLUMNS
Members of the Public Employees
Injuries due to slips & trips
% due to slips and trips
Injuries due to slips & trips
% due to slips and trips
Primary & secondary education 5 687 1 869 33% 4 124 1 445 35%
Higher and further education 740 163 22% 1 315 423 32%
Primary & secondary education 2 795 805 29% 3 700 1 399 38%
Higher and further education 659 174 26% 1 793 643 36%
Reported injuries include fatal and major injuries to members of the
public and employees and over 3 day injuries to employees.
2. Attached at Annex one is a list of case studies of slip and trip
incidents in the education sector, reported to HSE. 3. Preventing
slip and trip incidents in the education sector was published as part
of HSE's Revitalising Health and Safety strategy and priority
programme on slips and trips.
4. This information sheet was produced through consultation with
HSE's Education Advisory Committees - the Higher and Further
Education Advisory Committee (HIFEAC) and the Secondary Education
Advisory Committee (SEAC), which consist of representatives from
educational establishments, educational associations, the Department
for Education and Skills (DfES) and trade unions. The Advisory
Committees' work plan supports the Revitalising Health and Safety
strategy and is contributing to HSE's priority programme on slips and
5. Copies of Preventing slip and trip incidents in the education
sector, Education information sheet No. 2 are available free f rom HSE
Books, PO Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 2WA, tel: 01787-881165 or
fax: 01787-313995 and can be ordered online at
Case studies of slip and trip incidents in the education sector,
reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
1. In November 2002 a canteen worker in a secondary education school
in Medway, Kent slipped over while working in a canteen and broke her
arm. The school investigated and took the following remedial action:
- non slip footwear supplied to all staff; deep clean carried out and
new cleaning products in use; long term floor replacement planned.
2. On 22 October 2002 a member of public slipped on a 30cm wide strip
of wet terrazzo flooring between the doormat and a moveable no slip
mat when leaving a building at a Higher Education institution in
Bath. She hit the back of her head on the glass door and also knocked
her knee and shoulder. Treatment at hospital was required and doctors
diagnosed soft tissue damage to her neck. The weather was showery at
the time. Remedial action taken included adjustment of the moveable
matting and a slippery floor sign was put up.
3. In August 2002 a cleaner slipped after cleaning a toilet floor in
a primary school in West Sussex. The floor had been specially chosen
for its slip resistant qualities and staff had been given training on
proper procedures for mopping. On this occasion those procedures had
not been followed.
4. In June 2002 a security guard fell through rotten wooden decking
on a balcony at a higher education institution in Liverpool. The
institution took the following remedial action by removing the
decking and planning to install a non-slip surface on the balcony as
well as the wooden steps leading to balcony.
5. In September 2002 an employee walking from his office to the
refectory in a higher education institution in Swindon, slipped on
liquid that had been left on the wooden laminate flooring by students
- thought to be remains of soft drink. Flooring was in good condition
and is not normally slippery. His knee became swollen and required