3. Controlling the risks
Many slip, trip and fall hazards can be prevented with good housekeeping to ensure a clean and organised workplace. Some risks are more difficult to control and may need a more considered approach such as:
- adding extra hooks for school bags to be hung
- ongoing encouragement of students to maintain good housekeeping
- changing or removing floor coverings
- adding power outlets to limit cords becoming disorganised or laying across walkways
- cleaning of drains and guttering to allow water to drain quickly
- installing additional lighting
- installing additional storage
- maintaining ramps, stairways and wooden walkways particularly in older buildings
- induction for safe access for people with special needs or disability.
Below are some practical suggestions to prevent and control slips, trips and fall risks.
Everyone has a role to play in keeping the work area clear and taking responsibility for cleaning up their own spills.
- Ensure there are products and equipment available to clean up spills when they occur.
- Encourage students to notify teachers of spills and assist with cleaning.
- Ensure downpipes and drains are kept clear.
- Use signs and cordon off areas where floors are wet after mopping.
Trips most often occur because of uneven flooring or cluttered walkways with low obstacles which are not easily visible or noticed.
- Display signage to encourage students to contribute to good housekeeping such as pushing in their chairs and hanging bags up.
- Display signs discouraging running in spaces prone to crowding.
- Keep work areas free from clutter and minimise tripping hazards in walkways such as bags, cords and loose flooring/mats.
- Ensure there is adequate storage and shelving available to store boxes, bags and so on off the floor.
- Tidy and organise electrical and computer cords so they are not in areas that people walk.
Falls commonly occur when balance is lost while using unstable items to reach an item.
- When storing items, place frequently used objects in easy reach.
- Do not stand on unstable platforms such as chairs to reach items that are high up.
- Do not overreach or lean over when using step ladders.
- Step down from ladder and reposition closer to work area.
- Ensure Safe work procedure - Use of a step platform ladder is displayed next to step ladder storage area.
Display the Preventing slips, trips and falls in schools poster in your school (including on your OHS Noticeboard) to remind staff, students and visitors to be aware of behaviours that reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls.
The principal and/or their delegate, in consultation with the HSR and employees, must record identified and implemented risk controls to manage slips, trips and falls risks on the school’s OHS Risk Register.
Reviewed 15 January 2023