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Human Resources

Watch Your Step

In 2017/18, 35% of all accidents recorded at the University were caused by slips, trips and falls, in order to reduce this, the health and safety team are launching a new Behavioural Safety Campaign reminding staff and students to "Watch Your Step"



What is a slip, trip or fall?

What is a slip?

Caused by your foot losing traction with the ground surface, such as walking on polished, wet or greasy surfaces or inappropriate footwear.

What is a trip?

Caused by catching your foot on an object or surface such as uneven edges in flooring, loose mats, untidy floor area or open drawers.

What is a fall?

Can be caused by a slip or trip and usually results in a loss of balance, such as falling off a step/stairs or falling into a hole.



Slips, trips and falls can be caused by a number of factors, these include:

  • Spills of liquids, or powders, particularly onto steps, stairs and tiled or other flooring that becomes slippery;
  • Distracted walking - not paying attention to where and how you are walking
  • Floor surfaces that are, or become, slippery, perhaps when wet with rain water etc.
  • Inappropriate footwear
  • Trailing cables;
  • Items left in walkways, such as bags and parcels
  • Steps and slopes that are not easily visible, due perhaps to poor lighting levels or a lack of colour differentiation;
  • Mats, rugs or carpeting that is loose, curled up or torn;
  • Weather conditions such as ice and snow or even the effects of rain on unsuitable external surfaces;
  • Simply not being able to see where you are going if, for example, carrying large loads.


Safety By Numbers - The Facts

  • 31% of accidents reported to the HSE in 2017/18 were due to slips, trips and falls on the same level
  • 20% of those accidents resulted in over 7 days absence from work
  • 55% of all accidents in education are caused by a slip, trip or fall
  • 27% of Teesside University accidents in 2017/18 were caused by slips, trips and falls on the same level
  • 8% of Teesside University accidents in 2017/18 were caused by slips, trips and falls at height


The Impact

If you had a slip, trip or fall think about the impact if you were injured.....
Would you be able to take part in planned social activities?
Would you be able to participate in sporting events?
What about a planned holiday, would an injury prevent you from enjoying this?

Please take a look at the video below and remember to "Watch Your Step" whilst moving around campus.

Some tips to prevent slips, trips or falls:

  • Pay attention to where you are walking and avoid distractions such as texting on your phone
  • Use appropriate footwear for the task you are doing
  • Avoid carrying anything that obstructs your view
  • Clear any spills that may cause someone to trip
  • Practice good housekeeping so obstructions such as cables and bags are removed
  • Report anything that could cause an accident such as loose carpets, wet floors or areas of poor visibility
  • Take care on the stairs, hold the handrail and avoid running on the stairs
  • Be careful in icy or wet weather conditions