Health and Safety Floors and Trafffic Surfaces

Condition of Floors and Traffic Routes


Health & Safety Regulations require Floors and traffic route surfaces to be constructed so that they are suitable for the purpose for which they are used.

Such surfaces must, so far as is reasonably practicable, be kept free from obstructions and free from any article or substance which could cause someone to slip, trip or fall.

The surfaces must have no defect, such as a hole, slope, unevenness or slipperiness, that exposes persons to risks to health or safety. This provision is to avoid risks including causing:

  • a person to slip, trip or fall;
  • a person to drop/lose control of anything being lifted/carried;
  • instability or loss of control of vehicles and/or their loads.

    However, temporary holes (such as made during maintenance), and defects that have arisen from damage or wear and tear, should be made good as soon as possible. Until they are made good they should be adequately guarded and marked. Surfaces with small holes (such as metal gratings) can only be used where they are not likely to pose a hazard.

    Where necessary, slip-resistant coatings should be applied to surfaces and floors must have effective means of drainage. Floor and traffic route surfaces should be of sound construction and have sufficient strength and stability to take the loads and traffic on them.

    Suitable and sufficient handrails should be provided for staircases and steep slopes. Care must be taken to ensure that handrails do not obstruct a traffic route.

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