Human Resources Division

Slips, trips and falls

Slips, trips and falls are the most common reported accident at Deakin. They can result in very serious injuries. Many believe that slips, trips and falls are "just one of those things", essentially unpreventable. The reality is that most slips, trips and falls are preventable through good design, appropriate maintenance, housekeeping and cleaning, individual risk management and effective hazard identification and reporting.

The actual causes of the slip, trip or fall can be complex. These causes, more accurately, contributing factors, can include:

  • Weather, especially rain
  • Lighting - especially at the bottom of stairs and steps
  • Lack of maintenance of paths and steps
  • Cleaning regimes - either too little, or the opposite too much polishing
  • Human error such as leaving cords across pathways, other poor housekeeping or failing to properly repair paths after other work
  • Failure to match surfaces to human capability especially where limited by age or disability
  • Poor or inappropriate designs
  • Individual misjudgement about risk such as taking shortcuts, hurrying, getting distracted or wearing higher risk footwear.

In many cases the actual accident is caused by a combination of the above factors.

The best approach for local staff and managers is to incorporate slip, trip and fall prevention into your routine inspections and ensure all staff are encouraged to report "near misses" and hazards. The training and e-learning packages below can be incorporated into your refresher and local training programs to promote awareness and understanding on how slips, trips and falls can be prevented.


• WorkSafe: Slips, Trips and Falls Checklist (187 KB)

Training and e-Learning Packages

The STEP Tool is an eLearning package developed by the United Kingdom Health and Safety Executive, providing slips and trips guidance through interactive learning. It is an easy way to learn about slips and trips, how they are caused, why preventing them is important and how to tackle them. This is supported by various resources including training packages.


Deakin University acknowledges the traditional land owners of present campus sites.

24th August 2010