Tips to stop slip and falls

George Sotter, a registered Professional Engineer and author of STOP Slip and Fall Accidents, specializes in the prevention and investigation of slip, trip, and fall accidents. Sotter offers some simple and cost-effective ways of stopping slip and fall accidents.

  • Post warnings when and where appropriate, using pictographs to be understandable to people who can’t read.
  • Provide clean, absorbent floor mats so everyone can dry the soles of their shoes. Discourage employees and volunteers from wearing high heeled shoes. Also discourage them from wearing sandals—they are notorious for contributing to slip and fall accidents.
  • Make sure stairs comply with your local building code, stair treads are easy to see, and handrails are firmly mounted and easy to grip.
  • Use absorbent mats and rugs in wet areas, such as drinking fountains and ice or beverage vending machines. Make sure the mats have beveled edges and are not tripping hazards.
  • Apply abrasive tapes or coatings to floors and stairs. Replace the tape if it becomes loose, worn, or torn.
  • Maintain surveillance of potentially slippery areas, and clean up spills immediately to prevent falls.
  • Inspect floors for debris, extension cords or cables, brooms, clothing, and props that may create a tripping hazard. If there is anything in the walkway that should not be there, remove it immediately.
  • Use abrasive mats to trap rain, mud, and snow at the entrance. When mats get dirty or saturated, exchange them for clean ones.
  • Chemically etch ceramic tile and stone that is slippery when wet. Select your contractor carefully.
  • Be sure the contractor is properly insured or bonded before contracting these services.
The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us at or your attorney if you have any questions. The article may not be linked to, copied, reproduced, republished, posted, or distributed in any way by non-policyholders of Markel®, without permission.