Thought Leadership

The human factor. Thoughts and observations.

The life-blood of any organisation is its people; the success of every system, in every organisation is determined by human factors. We are seeking a deep understanding of these human factors; these are some of our thoughts and observations.

Time for Employers to be Proactive in the Prevention of Workplace Slip, Trip & Fall Accidents

Time for Employers to be Proactive in the Prevention of Workplace Slip, Trip & Fall Accidents

The Slip, Trip & Fall Challenge in High Footfall Sectors

High footfall business sectors (e.g. retail, hospitality, sport & leisure) are required to manage the pervasive risk of Slip, Trip & Fall (STF) on a daily basis. Slip, Trip & Fall accidents are the most common cause of injury in high footfall sectors.

Some of the alarming statistics below demonstrate how important it is to manage the risk of STF in Irish high footfall sectors:

  • Reported workplace accidents have increased by 42% between 2013 and 2019
  • The average non-insured cost of a lost time incident (LTI) in the workplace ranges from €9,000 – €12,000 for businesses with up to 50 staff
  • On average across all sectors in 2019, 24% of all reported injuries were due to slip, trip & fall and over 30% occurred in high footfall sectors (e.g. retail, hospitality, sport & leisure)
  • 15-25% of Slip, Trip & Fall accidents lead to serious injuries (classified at 3+ days out of work)
  • In some high footfall sectors Slip, Trip & Fall hazards cause up to 65% of liability claims
  • The average cost of an Employers liability award was €29,859 in 2019
  • The average cost of a Public liability award was €26,189 in 2019
  • A HSA analysis of over 10,000 workplace inspections showed that over 30% of high footfall workplaces had no slip, trip and fall risk assessments in place
  • An analysis of the causal factors leading to STF accidents show that it is often employee behaviour (e.g. poor housekeeping) that leads to the hazards and consequential incidents
  • STF incidents & consequential claims have contributed to increases in average liability insurance premium costs by 30%+ since 2016
  • High-footfall operators do not have adequate systems of reporting to defend against fraudulent claims
  • Preventive safety measures are not sufficiently implemented within business operations to support the defence of certain claims, especially when it comes to Slip, Trip & Fall risk
  • There is a general lack of ownership and accountability from employers, employees and customers for their own personal safety and risk awareness around STF hazards

The Cost of Slip, Trip & Fall Incidents

The cost of a Slip, Trip & Fall (STF) incident is multivariable and comes with very serious repercussions. A cross-sectoral average between markets demonstrates on average that 15-25% of all STF accidents lead to a serious debilitative injury and in some cases have been fatal.

The individual costs include loss of income; pain from injury; reduced quality of life; worry and stress while the costs for the employer include:

  • Insured Costs (injury, ill-health, damage)
  • Product, plant, equipment damage
  • Production/operation delays
  • Overtime working, temporary labour and training
  • Loss of expertise and experience
  • Investigation time
  • Clerical effort
  • Fines, effect of accidents
  • Reputational / brand damage

The average insured cost of a STF accident in Ireland within the high footfall sector ranges approximately from €32,000 – €35,000. If the moral case to manage the enduing and dynamic STF risk in your business is not enough, the financial case is significant when you take into account the non-insured and insured costs of a STF incident.

Managing the risk of Slip, Trip & Fall

The key to managing the risk of slip, trip and fall is to ensure good and consistent housekeeping standards on a routine basis; purely because there is a high positive correlation between good housekeeping and the reduction in the frequency of Slip, Trip & Fall (STF) incidents.

STF hazards require constant housekeeping management within high footfall business sectors as the dynamic nature of these business sectors constantly recycle hazards that require routine addressing. Some hazards are acute (e.g. spillage, debris, clutter); others are behavioural (e.g. staff member walking by a STF hazard); and others are chronic (e.g. uneven surface).

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has identified a cross-sectoral overview of causal factors leading to STF incidents in Ireland and below are some of the primary STF hazards in order of frequency:

  • Descending Stairs
  • Hazards in Customer Walkways
  • Slippery and Wet Surfaces
  • Exiting Vehicles
  • Walkways
  • Ice
  • Uneven Surfaces
  • Cleaning Procedures
  • Hazards at Entrances and Exits

Numerous examples have been cited in court, where STF hazards were often left on the ground for hours with multiple staff members walking right by them before a member of the public then had accidents. This is a behavioural issue, and the fact that 80-95% of all workplace accidents are behaviour-based provides further proof that the majority of STF incidents are preventable if the business is proactive in managing this constant risk.

The Slip, Trip & Fall Risk Management Solution: The CAYGO™ Digital App

The CAYGO™ Digital B2B solution is the most effective housekeeping system to reduce the risk of Slip, Trip & Fall for high-footfall businesses and their insurance partner stakeholders.

CAYGO™ Digital is designed to help businesses improve housekeeping standards and reduce both the frequency and cost of Slip, Trip & Fall accidents, incidents and consequential claims. It uses automated scheduling to maintain consistency throughout the day while ensuring that no checks are missed.

This innovative system also uses NFC tags to qualify locations / zones meaning that the ‘Staff Checker’ was physically present in that location. This App is completely customisable to business user requirements (i.e. schedule intervals and key risk zones) and a CAYGO™ Check can be done by any member of staff and just takes 30 seconds on average to complete!

The system provides detailed and automated reporting that supports business owners and insurance stakeholders in reducing client risk ratio, increasing client defensibility, tackling fraudulent claims and liability exposure.

CAYGO™ Digital App Results

Since its market launch; over the past 18 months the CAYGO™ Digital system has provided the following market-leading results across the SeaChange client base who operate the system:

  • 2,529,620… CAYGO™ Zone Checks Completed
  • 3,045,430… Slip, Trip & Fall Hazards Removed
  • 30,454… Near Misses Prevented
  • 3,045… Recordable Injuries Prevented
  • 305… Lost Time Incidents (LTI) Prevented
  • €3,660,000… saved in non-insurance related LTI costs
  • 10… Serious Injuries Prevented
  • 50%… Reduction in Claim Frequency

If your business is experiencing any of these real issues outlined above, SeaChange can provide a bespoke and cost-effective Risk Management Solution to fit your needs, your people and your organisation, while also delivering real results.

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