10th May 2021
Insurer predicts spike in slips, trips and falls as hotels reopen
- NFU Mutual claims statistics reveal that the number of slip, trip and fall claims reported by businesses increased by 49% when the hospitality sector reopened last year
- The insurer offers advice to manage risks as hotels prepare to reopen next week (17th May)
- Commercial insurer NFU Mutual is warning businesses to protect customers and staff from slips, trips and falls as hotels and other accommodation venues prepare to reopen next week (17th May).
According to NFU Mutual claims statistics, the number of slip, trip and fall claims submitted by businesses rose by 49% from June to July 2020 - the period which saw hotels reopen after the first national lockdown. The insurer expects a similar spike as measures ease again next week.
In the 2019 pre-pandemic year, NFU Mutual received over £40m of slip, trip and fall claims from commercial businesses.
Darren Seward, Hospitality Sector Specialist at NFU Mutual, said: “Coronavirus has made us all rethink how we can put safety first to protect ourselves and others. The same approach should be taken for the risk of slips, trips and falls, which are the most common cause of non-fatal injury in the workplace. By adopting good practices now, we can help the industry to come out better, safer and stronger when the pandemic is over.
“With hotels allowed to reopen next week, the opportunity for slip, trip and fall incidents is likely to increase. Having seen a spike in these incidents when the hospitality sector reopened last July, we’d urge hotels and other accommodation venues to ensure safeguards are in place as they prepare to welcome back guests and staff.
“Coronavirus regulations have put additional focus on health and safety for business owners, who have adopted new measures to ensure working environments are COVID-secure, often involving changes to layouts and processes.
“This is an ideal opportunity to revisit other risks and assess the prevention measures you have in place. For slips, trips and falls, it is especially important to consider hazards that might have changed or evolved during lockdown, such as how new hand sanitising stations or altered table layouts have affected walkways, or the impact face coverings may have on the wearer’s vision.”
NFU Mutual Risk Management Services offer the following advice to help prevent slips, trips and falls:
- Consider factors which may have increased the slip, trip and fall risk while your business has been closed, such as clearing interim deliveries and overgrown paths
- If social distancing requirements means you have had to introduce additional entryways for staff/customers, ensure you have assessed these for slip, trip and fall risks
- Ensure new structures – such as pop-up handwashing facilities, hand sanitising points and screens - and new floor signage have not introduced new slip, trip and fall hazards
- Discourage nonessential trips within buildings and sites to support both Coronavirus and slip, trip and fall risk management
- Familiarise staff with any alterations in table lay-out, consider encouraging them to practice walking around with their face coverings/ face visors in the new layout
- Highlight any potential trip hazards, such as steps or uneven flooring or divert walkways away from these areas
- Ensure all areas have adequate lighting
- Signpost slip hazards and any recent spills
- Enforce a process for spills to be tended to immediately
Notes to editors
NFU Mutual claims statistics:
- The number of slip, trip and fall claims across NFU Mutual’s commercial policies rose by 49% between June 2020 and July 2020
- The cost of slip, trip and fall claims across NFU Mutual commercial policies in 2019 £40.74m
Health and Safety Executive statistics
According to the Health and Safety Executive, slips, trips and falls are the most common cause of non-fatal injuries in the workplace, accounting for 29%.
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