What the Law Says

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There are four main laws and regulations that apply to slip, trip and fall accidents. The first one is the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. This law requires employers to make sure that all employees, as well as anyone who may be affected by their work, are kept as safe as possible. This means to minimise the risk of any dangerous occurrence so far as is reasonably practicable. Consequently, this includes taking steps to control slip and trip risks in the workplace. The law not only ensures that employers follow the rules, but it also makes employees partially responsible for the safety of themselves and others. All employees have a duty not to put themselves or others in danger and must use any safety equipment provided.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires employers to assess risks (including slip and trip risks) and, where necessary, take action to address them.

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 require floors to be suitable, in good condition and free from obstructions, so people are able to move around safely. Remember that this is the responsibility of every employee in the workplace, and you should do your best to keep walkways free of clutter.

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (or PUWER) requires work equipment to be well maintained. The PUWER regulations also highlight the importance of having a selection of suitable equipment to use for the task at hand, as well as the provision of training in its use. Employees should remember however, not to work outside the scope of their training.