Slips, Trips and Falls Management

​​​​​​​​​​​​Principals and school staff must follow the Slips, Trips and Falls Management Policy, Slips, Trips and Falls Management Procedure and Resource section which are available in the Policy and Advisory Library (PAL).

Corporate and regional staff should follow the information below.

Slips, Trips and Falls

Slips, trips and falls incidents and injuries happen for many reasons.

Common slip hazards include:

  • spills of liquid or solid material

  • wet cleaning methods  

  • a sudden change in floor surface, for example joins between carpet and tiles

  • change from wet to dry surface

  • dusty and sandy surfaces

  • the incline of a ramp

  • loose or bumpy flooring

  • low light levels

  • use of unsuitable footwear

Common trip hazards include:

  • ridges in floors or carpets

  • worn floor coverings or broken tiles

  • potholes and cracks in floors

  • changes in floor level

  • thresholds and doorstops

  • floor sockets and phone jacks

  • cables from power extension units

  • loads that obstruct vision

  • obstacles in traffic areas

Common fall hazards (under two metres) include:

  • as a result of a slip or trip

  • poor systems of work - e.g., using step ladders or chairs to access high storage areas, climbing down ladders while carrying objects, unsafe loading or unloading of vehicles

  • uneven surfaces or changes in floor levels

  • poorly maintained and dimly lit stairwells

  • steps

  • curbs

  • into a hole or a ditch

Slip, trips and falls account for the greatest number of injuries in the Department. Slips trips and fall hazards can be identified as part of the workplace inspection process (proactive approach) or when an incident happens (reactive approach).

If a slip, trip and fall hazard is identified it should be reported to the workplace manager and/or management OHS nominee or the health and safety representative (HSR).

OHS Management System documentation



Workplace Inspection Procedure

General Workplace Inspection Checklist

External Grounds and Sporting Field Inspection Checklist

Slips, Trips and Falls Poster 

Implement and Communicate Controls

The workplace manager and/or the management OHS nominee in consultation with the HSR and employees, must ensure that controls to manage slips, trips and fall risks are identified and implemented using the order of the hierarchy of controls.

Examples include:

  • elimination - e.g., remove slip and trip hazards at the design stage such as eliminating changes in floor levels and installing more power outlets to avoid trailing cords)

  • substitution - e.g., replace flooring with a more slip-resistant surface

  • isolation — e.g., prevent access to high risk areas, cordon off wet floor areas while cleaning is in progress

  • engineering - e.g., apply floor treatments to increase slip resistance, improve lighting, stop leaks from pipes, provide adequate drainage, clearly mark edges of steps and any changes to floor height

  • administration - e.g., implement good housekeeping practices, use signage to warn of wet or slippery areas, complete the Slips, Trips and Falls eLearning module

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – e.g., wear resistant footwear

The workplace manager and/or the management OHS nominee must communicate all risks and control measures associated with slips, trips and falls to all employees, contractors and visitors. A slip, trip, fall poster (pdf - 2.27mb) is available to improve awareness of slip, trip and fall hazards.

Record Risk Controls

The workplace manager and/or the management OHS nominee, in consultation with the HSR and employees must record identified and implemented risk controls to manage slips, trips and falls risks in the Corporate/Regional Offices OHS Risk Register.

Legislation, Guidance, and Compliance Codes

  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004

  • Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017

Contact us

OHS Advisory Service on ph. 1300 074 715 or email

Further information

WorkSafe Victoria information on slips, trips and falls