The Facts About Slips And Trips At Work

Every year around the world, millions of people suffer injuries due to an accident at work – and the majority of these are caused by slips or trips. Of course, statistically speaking, there are differences between the numbers of such accidents reported in developing and developed countries (sadly, adherence to health and safety regulations is not consistent around the world, with many people in poorer countries never reporting accidents).

But what we do know from recent statistics in the UK and Europe is that over a third of major injuries at work reported each year result from slips and trips. In fact, slipping and tripping is by far and away the single most common form of workplace accident – with around 1000 workers or more suffering an injury as a result of this type of mishap.

That’s not just bad news for the victims, it’s a serious blow to employers too. It’s estimated that in the UK alone, the bill for lost production and other associated costs as a result of accidents at work runs into hundreds of millions of pounds – including personal injury claims. And that, even when the claim is entirely justified, is not a situation anyone wants (although finding a reliable personal injury lawyer can help you through it).

Most affected types of job

Closer examination of the figures makes it clear that certain types of workplace are more likely to be the scene of slipping and tripping accidents. And the list is hardly surprising. Construction workers and tradespeople (electricians, joiners, plumbers etc) make up a large number of those affected by this type of accident. Closely followed other groups including catering workers, food factory workers, food retail workers and site managers.

So, what’s the answer? Well, in the UK and many other countries there are official Health & Safety guidelines in place which, if followed properly, should theoretically reduce the incidence of slips, trips and falls in the workplace. But life isn’t perfect, and without constant vigilance on the part of individuals – both employers and employees – there’s every likelihood that the alarming statistics noted above will continue to grow.

Preventing slips, trips and falls

Taking preventative action before slips, trips and falls occur is the first port of call. And that means considering and anticipating every possible eventuality in different workplace environments – whether there’s an obvious health and safety threat or not.

Because the sad fact is, many people believe that things like wet and slippery floors or uneven surfaces cause slips, trips and falls. The reality is, even a dry, even surface can be a hazard, especially if obstructions are left lying around or proper footwear isn’t worn.

The full list of recommended checks and measures to be put in place to prevent slip, trip and fall accidents can be found on various dedicated websites such as the Health and Safety Executive’s official site. But for now, the advice can be simply summarized.

Stay alert and prepared. If you do suffer an injury, make sure it’s investigated and reported (particularly if you think you have a personal injury claim).

Techniques To Help Reduce Stress In The Office

A certain level of stress at work is perfectly normal and not harmful. After all, a desire to perform well and challenge oneself is always going to put some stress onto an individual but not an overwhelming amount. There can be times, however, when the daily pressures of work feel like they are just too much. When this happens it is important to know how to calm down. Stress is dangerous to our health, both mentally and physically. Reducing stress levels at work makes for a much nicer environment for everyone.

Breathe

Ever since we were children we have been told to take deep breaths if we need to calm down, and the reason for this is it works. Try spending time breathing deeply every day, even when you feel OK. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth as deeply and slowly as is comfortable. Breathing in this manner stimulates the pre-frontal cortex of the brain, which encourages the production of the hormones dopamine and serotonin, otherwise known as the happy hormones. These elevate our mood and make us feel less stressed, so give it a whirl.

Time Out

Taking a ‘time out’ is also something most of us probably remember from childhood. If you feel yourself getting really worked up it can be hard to calm down when you are still physically in the situation. Take a five minute break and walk away. Often a physical change in environment can trigger a change in mental activity too and make it much easier to calm down.

Stay Healthy

It has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that those who exercise regularly are in general happier people than those who don’t. Stay healthy and try to exercise at least three times a week for twenty minutes, more if you have time. Exercise releases endorphins, another feel good chemical, into the bloodstream. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and avoid caffeinated beverages as much as possible. Try to eat five portions of fruit or vegetable each day as part of a balanced diet that also includes protein, carbohydrate and fibre. Keeping your body healthy has a positive effect on your mental state.

Alter Your Work Pattern/Area

Sometimes feeling disorganised can lead to extra stress. Rearranging your workstation and then working on your time management skills can really make a difference. It may seem like the placement of office chairs is irrelevant, but ask yourself how many times a day you get annoyed because you can’t reach the stationary drawer? Try keeping track of how you spend your time for a week and eliminate any unproductive activity. This will make you feel less stressed in itself and will also leave you with more free time to practice meditation techniques or take short breaks when you start to feel things getting on top of you.