What counts as a slip, trip or fall?

As far as accidents in the workplace are concerned, the most common tend to be slips, trips and falls. Although these terms sound very similar, they are in fact quite different from each other. Here we explain what defines each of these:


By definition, a slip is when your feet lose grip on whatever floor surface you are either standing or walking on. This may be due to the fact that the floor is wet or may have a slippery substance on the surface. Something as seemingly harmless as a little excess water can lead to a terrible accident in the workplace. Perhaps the cleaning staff failed to use the correct safety signs and, as a result, you have slipped over and broken your ankle. This is a very common example of an accident in the workplace that was not your fault.


Tripping up usually happens when you are walking on an uneven floor surface or if the lighting isn’t bright enough for you to see items that are large enough to trip over. If your workplace has a cluttered floor and, for whatever reason, you trip over and injure yourself, this is an example of a trip in the workplace. This type of incident needs to be reported to your HSE immediately and you could be facing a spell in hospital and a lengthy recovery time that results in a loss of earnings.


Even though the term ‘fall’ usually makes us think of a fall from a great height, that is not always the case in the workplace. For example, you may simply be helping a colleague to hang something on the office wall by using a small stepladder to gain access to the wall in question. If the ladder in question is faulty, you or your colleague may incur an injury as a result. Even a fall from a few inches can result in a nasty injury. Every workplace should adhere to Health and Safety regulations as far as equipment is concerned.

Slips, trips and falls are still the most common form of workplace injury and only by following Health and Safety guidelines can we start to keep the numbers of those incidents down. However, if you find yourself injured because of one of the above types of accidents, be sure to speak to a recognised personal injury solicitor at the earliest opportunity.

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