Safety regulations and you

How to stay safe

All safety flooring needs to be maintained to make sure it performs to expected standards. Things to consider include:


Always follow the manufacturer's cleaning recommendations. Incorrect cleaning can lead to a build-up of dirt and/or cleaning chemicals on the surface of the flooring which can act as a barrier to effective slip resistance.

View our manual, mechanical and steam cleaning guides.


Footwear plays an important role in slip prevention and recommendations can be made to staff in certain locations like hospitals and restaurants to significantly reduce the risk of injury.

So what's the risk?

We strongly recommend carrying out a risk assessment on any area you're thinking of installing flooring to identify all potential slip hazards. Some sectors clearly outline the need for risk assessments. The Department of Health's Healthcare Building Requirements set out essential quality and safety standards.

These requirements state that before a new or replacement floor covering is specified, a risk assessment should be conducted considering:

  • Environment
  • Contamination
  • Appearance
  • Acoustics
  • Use
  • Footwear
  • Slip and trip potential of foot traffic etc under different conditions

Many of these factors can be made worse if lighting isn't good enough for users to see potential hazards. And stairs are a particularly dangerous area.

Because we take safety so seriously, we think that risk assessments should become best practice in all sectors. This would protect people who use the flooring, and also those who are responsible for the health and safety of their employees and visitors.

If you need help carrying out a risk assessment, use the information sheet on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.

Check out the HSE website where there are numerous publications available to give you more information about these issues.

What am I legally obliged to do about slips and falls?

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, regulation 12 (12 a) states:

  • the floor, or surface of the traffic route, shall have no hole or slope, or be uneven or slippery so as, in each case, to expose any person to a risk to his health or safety…

In the UK the UK Slip Resistance Group (UKSRG) and The Health and Safety Executive are two authorities on slip resistance.

Virtually everyone involved in a construction project has legal duties under The Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) including anyone who chooses flooring. The list of ‘dutyholders’ are defined on the HSE website.

As an employer

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA)*

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires employers to ensure the health and safety of all employees and anyone affected by their work, so far as is reasonably practicable, which means balancing the level of risk against the measures needed to control the risk in terms of money, time or trouble. This includes taking steps to control slip and trip risks.

Employees have a duty to take care of their own health and safety and that of others and must use any safety equipment provided.

Find out more about your responsibilities as an employer to reduce slips and trips.

As a designer

The duties of designers under the CDM regulations 2015** include these statements:

  1. A designer must not commence work in relation to a project unless satisfied that the client is aware of the duties owed by the client under these Regulations.
  2. When preparing or modifying a design the designer must take into account the general principles of prevention and any pre-construction information to eliminate, so far as is reasonably practicable, foreseeable risks to the health or safety of any person—
    1. carrying out or liable to be affected by construction work;
    2. maintaining or cleaning a structure; or
    3. using a structure designed as a workplace.
  3. If it is not possible to eliminate these risks, the designer must, so far as is reasonably practicable—
    1. take steps to reduce or, if that is not possible, control the risks through the subsequent design    process;
    2. provide information about those risks to the principal designer; and
    3. ensure appropriate information is included in the health and safety file.
  4. A designer must take all reasonable steps to provide, with the design, sufficient information about the design, construction or maintenance of the structure, to adequately assist the client, other designers and contractors to comply with their duties under these Regulations.
* Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence.
**Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0