Common Slip Causes and Prevention: The Slip Potential Model

Common Slip Causes and Prevention: The Slip Potential Model

Posted: 14th June 2017

Posted by: The National Testing Team

Every year, approximately 40% of all accidents reported to the HSE are attributed to slips, trips and falls and are also responsible for up to 50% of all reported injuries to members of staff in the workplace. The below information will outline the HSE’s slip potential model and how National Testing can help create a safe environment.

In order for employers to be able to tackle issues surrounding falls in the workplace the HSE slip potential model outlines a number of factors that businesses need to address in order to attempt to eradicate the risks associated with them.

According to the slip potential model the common factors that contribute towards the cause of slips and trips are:

  • Footwear
  • Contamination
  • Flooring
  • Environment
  • Human factors
  • Cleaning

How Can National Testing Help?


One prevention that employees should consider is in regards to workers choice of footwear. The HSE note that choosing the right slip-resistant footwear for workers can be tricky and the final choice will have to be based on a range of factors, for example; durability, comfort and other safety features.

In order to find the best footwear possible employers can often request slip resistant details from suppliers in advance of purchasing. This does however have its limitation as the slip resistance claimed may be very different on varying flooring types and differing environments.

Gaining a slip resistance test to determine the effectiveness of the footwear within your premises is a great way to ensure the safety of your staff as well as protecting yourself legally. At National testing we offer in depth testing and reporting on-site or via our laboratory.

Flooring and Contamination

Alongside footwear, the choice of flooring material is also vital as a large majority of slips can be caused by contamination to flooring in some way. Providing a flooring which performs well under clean and dry circumstances but is still effective when contaminated can create a safer environment for your workforce.

Different areas will need to be tested for varying levels of slip resistance for example if you have an area prone to spills then this will need a good resistance when wet. An ideal test for measuring the safety of your flooring material under a variety of different environments is the pendulum test. This accurately measures the friction of the floor surface and can be tailored to your unique environment.

Floors can also easily become worn down after years of being in use. It is important that any repairs that are made are carried out using a material which gives a similar level of slip resistance to the surrounding floor along with regular monitor via slip testing. If different materials are used be sure to have these measured for slip resistance too.


Special care needs to be taken when assessing various aspects of your business premises’ environment, especially when these vary from the normal, well lit & dry environments we are used to.

Autumn and Winter in particular can be a problem due to the build up of leaves and the wet weather which is why it is imperative that outdoor flooring is tested regularly to ensure it is able to cope with conditions such as rain, ice and slippery debris. National Testing offer a comprehensive range of services and are experts in the testing of roads, runways and pavements to ensure your business is not only safe internally but externally too.

For all your floor safety needs contact one of our specialists at National Testing today. We cater for all types of commercial premises and offer a wide range of services from stair safety to griptester surveys in order to ensure your building is as safe as possible. Our in depth reports approved by UKAS are easy to understand and robust meaning complete peace of mind for businesses.

Request A Free Quote

If you would like more information regarding our services, please contact us using the button below.

Contact us