Preventing slips and trips in churches

14 November 2018

Slips and trips are the most common causes of injury in church properties. While most of these are minor, others can be quite severe and, in some cases, disabling.

Mind your step sign
Slip and trip hazards are not only present inside the church itself, but are common outside it too – in church halls, churchyards and car parks.  
 
Most slips occur in wet or contaminated conditions, frequently as a result of weather conditions or spillages. Commonly, trips are caused by worn paths, steps or floor coverings (e.g. carpets, rugs) and where cables trail across the floor. 

Preventing slips and trips

You are probably already taking a number of precautions to protect those who use the church from slips and trips. In many instances, straightforward precautions can make a real difference; for example, making sure spillages are cleaned up promptly so people do not slip, or ensuring there are no trailing electrical cables presenting a trip hazard.  

In some situations you may need to: 

  • Complete a risk assessment to identify the precautions you need to take 
  • Implement adequate precautions, providing information and training for any employees and volunteers on what they need to do 
  • Make periodic checks to ensure your precautions remain adequate 
  • Document your arrangements and responsibilities for preventing slips and trips, perhaps as part of your Safety Statement
  • Keep records of what you have done. 

It’s also important to consider the prevention of slips and trips in graveyards and burial grounds too, as this is an often-frequented area of the church – whether walking into the church to attend a service or accessing the grounds for funerals.