Eliminating Slip, Trip and Fall Hazards

In 2013 approximately 20% of Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) claims were for lost-time injuries caused by slips, trips, and falls. These types of injuries can happen for many reasons. Below you can review some of the most common causes, and find solutions to help you avoid them.


Slips occur when there is not enough traction between footwear and a walking surface, causing workers to lose their footing. There are many possible causes of slips, including:

  • Spills
  • Wet or oily surfaces
  • Weather hazards
  • Lack of traction on flooring surfaces
  • Improper footwear
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Trips occur when a worker's foot becomes entangled or strikes an object, causing them to lose their balance and fall. Preventing trips is often a matter of organization. Some common causes of trips are:

  • Obstructed view
  • Poor lighting
  • Clutter
  • Uncovered cables
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While the majority of falls occur on the same level as the result of a slip or trip, there are still a significant number of falls that occur from a height. If your work environment includes a hazard where employees are at risk of falling three meters (or less if the fall puts them on or in the path of other hazards) a fall prevention/protection program needs to be put in place. Elements of such a program include, but are not limited to:

  • Anchorage points
  • Full body harnesses
  • Lanyards
  • Self-retracting lifelines
  • Connectors
  • Rescue programs
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Best Practices

Avoiding slips, trips, and falls in the workplace requires diligence in housekeeping and safety practices. In order to avoid these types of injuries in your work environment, you should:

  • Clean all spills immediately
  • Mark wet floors and spills using signage
  • Mop or sweep debris from floors
  • Make sure you are using the right footwear for the right application
  • Install anti-slip tape or traction flooring in areas that are often wet or exposed to the elements
  • Treat and remove icy areas as soon as possible if affected by severe weather
  • Remove obstacles and keep walking areas free of clutter
  • Secure mats, rugs, and carpets that do not lay flat
  • Always close cabinets and storage drawers
  • Cover cables that cross walkways
  • Keep work areas and walkways well lit
  • Follow fall prevention and protection programs created by your employer (or enforce them if you are the employer)

Note: Information adapted from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)