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Facts

  • Since 2009 the British Council for Offices (BCO) has confirmed that the average workstation size has shrunk by 2sqm yet the power requirement has remained constant at 200-250w per workstation. There is an estimated 400million metres of exposed cabling in UK workplaces.
  • The Health and Safety at Work (HSW) Act 1974 and various other Acts require all employers to ensure the health and safety of all employees and anyone who may be affected by their work, so far as is reasonably possible. Amongst many things, this includes taking steps to address risks to health and safety from cables and encourage good housekeeping.
  • Directors and/or management can be fined or even imprisoned if they fail to take reasonable and practical steps to reduce risk – section 37 of HSW Act 1974. The conviction rate of cases getting to court is well over 80% at present.
  • In the 12 months to October 2015, statistics published by the HSE revealed that 171,000 workers reported a trip or slip at work. RIDDOR estimate a similar amount of accidents were unreported.
  • With an average of 500 trips every day in UK workplaces, thankfully many have trivial or no consequences – but others can cause lengthy absences and significant personal distress. This can create a financial cost to businesses in lost working time and productivity, but also a negative impression to stakeholders too.
  • In 2014-15, 52,000 cases of tripping injuries led to workers being absent for more than 3 days.
  • Compensation claims for trips at work are rising. The list of ‘no-win, no-fee’ solicitors grows almost daily and there have been significant compensations paid to trip victims who have suffered fractures, dislocations, permanent scarring and loss of earnings.
  • These awards are only set to rise as new legislation brought in by the Sentencing Council effective from 1st February 2016 starts to take effect. Fines can now be imposed based on the size of the convicted organisation – these could be up to £20M!