Health and Safety - Safe Access and Egress - Slips, Trips & Falls
Last Updated 31 May 2023 in General Operation
Slips, trips and falls represent a large percentage of our reported accidents. This policy outlines the procedures and measures to be taken to reduce this risk.
The Board of Directors and the Chief Executive of the Society recognise the need for safe access and egress (exit) at all times. They also recognise that colleague awareness of slips, trips and falls is an important factor in connection with housekeeping standards.
Safe Access & Egress
Access and egress routes must be kept as clear as possible. At no time should the safety of colleagues or others be compromised. At no time should colleagues block off any entrance, exit, internal corridor or doorway without the prior knowledge of the manager. If for any reason a main entrance or fire exit is to be cordoned off or taken out of use for any given period, then alternative arrangements must be made and agreed with the relevant Property Project Manager and the Health & Safety Team prior to the change.
Slips Trips & Falls
Managers should be aware that slips, trips and falls can occur to colleagues and customers alike. Such incidents may occur when areas such as sales floors, warehouse floors, corridors etc. become defective or slippery, or when housekeeping standards are poor.
Site managers and others in charge of sites must ensure that the following procedures are strictly applied.
All colleagues should be made aware of the potential for serious injury from slips, trips and falls and should be instructed to apply the procedures at all times. Colleagues should report all hazards immediately to their manager and immediate action should be taken to deal with the hazard.
All customer-accessed areas must be kept in a clean and tidy condition at all times. Boxes, goods or any other items should not be left lying about where customers or others may trip over them. Display stands should not be placed where anyone could fall over them.
Any work by contractors must be controlled and prior agreement made if work is carried out on the shop floor or in sales areas.
At defined times, the site manager or deputy manager must check all pedestrian areas including external yards, car parks, warehouses and sales areas for defects. Where repairs are required, the manager or deputy should report the defect to the Property Helpdesk either directly or via their line manager.
Managers must ensure that:
The yard area and building surrounds are kept as clean and tidy as possible.
External areas next to fire exit doors are kept free of all obstructions at all times.
Accumulations of unserviceable equipment (trolleys, racking etc.) or discarded items (old tyres, exhausts) are kept to a minimum and maintained in a tidy condition whilst awaiting disposal.
Any spillages are cleared immediately to avoid the risk of slips or trips.
Gangways are kept clear at all times. Pallet loads of goods must not be placed on the floor area in unauthorised areas.
Clearance of Snow & Ice Procedures
Regular checks, particularly before winter, should be made of walkways and car parks to ensure that no pooling of water from blocked drains and gullies or poor surfaces exists. In the event of frost, such pools can lead to excessive and dangerous ice formation.
CLEARANCE IN THE EVENT OF ICE & SNOW
It is not reasonably practicable to suggest that labour and materials should always be available to ensure that all car park areas are kept clear of ice and snow at all times. However, arrangements should exist at each site where possible to ensure that in the event of ice and snow, certain priority areas are cleared before the premises are opened to the public.
These areas are:
Any external steps or ramps.
Any area immediately outside a fire exit escape door to ensure doors open fully.
Refer to the Gritting Policy for further guidance
All colleagues should be made aware of the procedures and priority areas in the event of snow and ice, and the additional hazards created by such weather.
External loading bays or docks and yard or warehouse access areas where mechanical handling operations take place must be cleared before deliveries are accepted.
Salt or grit supplies can be obtained via the Property Services Helpdesk.
Gritting/Winter Maintenance Information
In icy/cold weather it is foreseeable that ice would form and would represent a risk. Gritting is therefore a very practical method of minimising this risk. The starting point for sites, however, should be to carry out and document a risk assessment.
To access the risk assessment document, please click here
To access Guidance Notes to support the risk assessment, please click here