Slip, Trip and Fall Statistics

Looking at the accidents reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), in 2009/2010 there were around 45,000 reported injuries in total – obviously many more minor injuries going entirely unreported. Accidents do happen although the vast majority of these injuries were entirely preventable and avoidable.

Slip, trip and fall injuries cost the UK approaching 1 billion pounds per year.

37% of all reported workplace injuries were as a result of a slip, trip or fall, with 28% of all fatalities in the workplace being caused by a slip, trip or fall.

On average approximately 50 people die each year from a slip, trip or fall and a great many more are injured – some critically.

The severity of injury varies between the type of accident with perhaps predictably the most fatalities being attributed to injuries from falls. Of the 45,000 injuries reported under RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrence Regulations), 43 these of these involved fatalities. 88% of these fatalities were attributed to falls, 58% of the fall fatalities being sustained from heights in excess of 2 metres, with the remaining 12% of the fatalities being caused by slips or trips.

95% of the fatalities were sustained by men which can be explained by the largely male-dominated construction industry – roofing and painting / decorating being particularly high risk. 59% of all fatalities were in the construction industry, and there were also twice as many non-fatal major fall injuries in this sector than the next highest sector.

The incidence and severity of injury increases in a roughly linear fashion with the age of the person involved – approximately twice as many incidents being in the 60-64 age group as the 16-19 year old age group. A third of worker fatalities were in the 60-64 age group even though they make up only 13% of the workforce.

The majority of the major slip and trip injuries occurred in the healthcare sector.

Ladders were involved in almost a third of all major fall injuries.

Slip, trip and fall rates by employment sector

This image shows the number of incidents per industry, and the number per 100,000 employees which allows a side-by-side comparison of the various industries in terms of risk.

2010 Slips Trips and Falls By Sector. Courtesy HSE.

In terms of non-fatal injuries, approximately 30,000 people per year sustain what the HSE refers to as an “over 3 day injury” – or in other words injuries lasting for longer than 3 days. Almost 75% of over 3 day injuries are caused by slips, with 35% of these taking place on wet surfaces – the majority occurring during the wetter months of the year – October to March.

Outside the workplace a further 32 fatalities were recorded involving members of the public – 72% of these were falls, the remainder being caused by slips or trips.

2009/10 Statistics courtesy of HSE.