Slips, Trips, and Falls

9th Jan 2024

Slips, trips, and falls continue to be a major source of workplace injuries in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut every year. Almost 19% of all claims in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories from January 2021 to December 2023 were injuries related to workers slipping, tripping, or falling. 

Most slip, trip, or fall incidents that result in workers losing time at work happen during the winter months. Cold temperatures and winter weather create a perfect storm of conditions that lead to slips, trips, and falls. Ice and snow cause slippery and uneven walking surfaces for months out of the year.  

Slips, trips, and falls also happen inside at any time during the year. Spills make walking surfaces slippery. Loose or unanchored rugs or mats create uneven walking surfaces and tripping hazards. A cluttered floor, uncovered cables, and opened bottom drawers are also common causes of trips. 

A clear line of sight is important to avoid these hazards – both inside and outside. If your view is obstructed by an item you’re carrying, or the lighting in the area you work in is poor, you have a higher risk of tripping, slipping, or falling.

Reduce the Risks

There are many ways to reduce slips, trips, and falls in the workplace.

Practice good housekeeping, including:

  • Cleaning up spills as soon as they happen and marking any wet areas.
  • Removing debris, obstacles, and clutter from work spaces (including cables on the floor, securing mats, carpets, and rugs so they are flat to the ground, and closing bottom drawers of desks).
  • Make sure there is sufficient lighting in all work areas, especially during dark winter months, and immediately replace burned out light bulbs or defective switches.

Wear appropriate footwear for the conditions: 

  • Be sure your footwear is rated for cold weather conditions.
  • Ensure you have proper traction. If it is icy, use traction devices, such as ice cleats.

Slow down and pay attention:

  • Even if you’re running late, do not run in slippery conditions. Adjust your stride for the conditions of the walking surface.
  • Distractions, like looking down at your phone, can result in missing a hazard in front of you.

See below for additional resources to help prevent slips, trips, and falls: