39_shutterstock_1692384313 HSE Corner: How to Reduce Trips and Falls at Home

Trips and falls account for a large amount of injuries in the home. Following these simple guidelines can help to reduce the risk to you and your family:

Common causes of trips and falls

Accidents in the home are often caused by:

  • poorly organised and cluttered walkways
  • inadequate or unsuitable lighting
  • moving or handling a load incorrectly
  • rushing around
  • tiredness
  • physical ability, lack of mobility or lack of balance
  • poor eyesight, inappropriate glasses
  • medication that can lead to dizziness – older people on four or more different types of medication have an increased risk of falling


Look out for trip hazards

Trip and slip hazards can be a problem in all homes, especially in houses with exposed wooden or marble floors.

  • Slippery floors – These could be wet or dusty
  • Cluttered floors – Caused by loose mats or trailing cables
  • Uneven floors – Like changes in surface level or holes and cracks


Five steps to avoiding hazards

There are five recommended risk assessment steps for keeping slips and trips to a minimum:

  • look around for anything that may cause an accident
  • decide who is most at risk
  • take preventative measures
  • keep a record of what you have changed
  • continually check your living space – keep a note of all potential hazards


Keep active to reduce the risk of trips and falls

You can help your general well-being and help to reduce the risk of trips and falls by keeping active and healthy. A good way to make your muscles stronger and to improve your balance is to take regular exercise. Exercise is important for older people, who are more vulnerable to trip hazards in the home. You don't have to go to the gym to stay active. Simple tasks like gardening, regular housework and walking can boost energy levels and improve coordination and balance.


For more information on any HSE issues, please contact Paul Sumner – CMIOSH, DMCC Senior HSE Manager at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..