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Slips and the Law

7th October 2016

Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure that the health and safety rights of their employees are met in the workplace. This is enforced in the UK under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, which requires employers to make any financial and time prerequisite necessary. The law includes the specification to access slip hazards and this can include uneven floors, low traction surfaces and wet floors. It is a requirement that every company records these findings meticulously, where there are five or more employees. It is absolutely essential that these processes are taken seriously, as Health and safety injuries cost industry around £500 million per year. The majority of injuries claimed for are broken bones and such accidents can drastically change an individual’s life. As a result a company can be at a substantial loss if they do not take the health and safety of their employees seriously.

However there are other benefits resulting from taking slips and trips seriously, which include; employees having less time off work as they are fit and able, the preservation of morale within the company and maintaining a good reputation to the outside world. Companies who fail to comply with these standards can expect legal action to be taken against them and their insurance premiums to significantly rise. However employees must also follow the correct protocol laid out for them in the workplace and if they chose to act outside of the health and safety guidelines, for example not wearing slip resistant shoes, culpability will not lie with the organisation. To minimise instances of employee error, it is beneficial for companies to purchase a skid resistance tester as this instrument can test the slipperiness of floor surfaces. If a company records their findings and is later taken to court by an injured employee, they can produce these records to mitigate any action of misconduct against them in court.

If you would like further information on slips and the law, please get in touch via email ( or by phone (+44 (0) 20 8551 7000).