How to avoid slips, trips and falls


slip on a banana peel

Slips, trips and falls are the second most common cause of injuries at the UW. A slip, trip or fall can result in minor embarrassment; or it can have a serious impact on a person’s health and well-being.

Slips, trips and falls tend to be more frequent in rainy or icy weather, in darkness, when walking on uneven surfaces, when there are cords or items left on the floor, when we're hurrying or not paying attention to our surroundings. Any combination of these increases the risk of an injury. Review the risk factors below and consider how you can reduce your chances of slipping or tripping.

Risk factors of slipping-floors, obstacles, weather, shoes, walking, contaminants

Slip, trip and fall hazards for UW custodians

Custodians at the UW clean our classrooms, offices, labs, clinics and the many spaces we occupy while working, teaching and studying. Our custodians often face potential slip, trip and fall hazards during the work day, and they have some tips to share with us for staying healthy and avoiding injuries.

Best practices to avoid slips, trips and falls

  • Use handrails when walking on stairs.
  • Use well-lit pathways or carry a flashlight for use in dark places.
  • Wear comfortable, slip-resistant shoes.
  • Use a cart and take the elevator when carrying large items.
  • Stay focused and alert.
  • Plan your route.
  • Take your time.
  • Put your cell phone away when you're on the move.
  • Get your eyes checked per your healthcare provider’s recommendation.
  • Wipe your feet on mat when entering a building during wet weather.

person overloaded with boxes