Falls from heights and same-level falls can happen anywhere, anytime.

Every year falls lead to a significant number of worker injuries and deaths, particularly in construction. Slips, trips and falls are some of the leading injuries that cause workers to miss time at work. You can help prevent slips, trips, and falls. Preventing these injuries is a critical goal for every safe and healthy workplace.

This resource provides general information on slips, trips, and falls in the workplace and does not address industry-specific regulatory requirements.

Employer responsibilities

Employers must:

  • take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of workers
  • provide information, instruction, and supervision to workers to protect the health or safety of the workers
  • acquaint workers and supervisors with any slip, trip, or fall hazard in the work and in the handling, storage, and use of any article, device, or equipment

These duties may involve:

  • identifying and assessing the risk of job-specific slip, trip and fall hazards
  • establishing controls to eliminate or reduce workers’ exposure to slip, trip and fall hazards
  • ensuring the control measures are working

Worker responsibilities

Workers must:

  • report known slip, trip or fall hazards to the employer or supervisor
  • use or wear equipment, protective devices or clothing required by the employer
  • report to the employer or supervisor the absence of or defect in any equipment or protective device of which they are aware and which may endanger them or other workers

Slip, trip and fall hazards

Consider the following common slip, trip and fall hazards in your workplace:

  • slippery surfaces (for example, oily or greasy surfaces)
  • seasonal slip, trip and fall hazards (for example, snow and ice)
  • spills of wet or dry substances
  • changes in walkway levels and slopes
  • unsecured mats
  • unsafe use of ladders
  • poor lighting
  • falls from beds of trucks, trailers or loads
  • debris and cables in walkways
  • smoke, steam or dust obscuring view
  • lack of guardrails on mezzanines and balconies
  • unsuitable footwear
  • poorly maintained equipment (for example, ladders, fall arrest, etc.)

Controlling hazards

Consider the following when establishing safe work practices for your workplace:

  • characteristics of physical work area
  • weather conditions (for example, snow, ice, rain, etc.)
  • tasks performed
  • workers’ work practices

Control measures for slip, trip and fall hazards may include:

Engineering controls

Engineering controls include:

  • slip-resistant flooring and slip-resistant mats
  • slope of surface (for example, ramps and handrails)
  • surface free of obstructions/holes
  • appropriate drainage
  • adequate lighting (minimize glare and contrast)
  • minimize environmental influences (for example, blocking wind, preventing wet surfaces from icing, etc.)
  • guardrails for raised floors, mezzanines and balconies
  • sound footing for ladders and work platforms
  • covers for openings in floors or other surfaces

Administrative controls

Administrative controls include:

  • provide wet floor signage
  • train workers to prevent slips, trips and falls
  • establish safe work practices
  • communicate a procedure for reporting hazards
  • ensure prompt maintenance
  • design jobs to minimize tasks requiring excessive pushing/pulling, line-of-sight obstruction and over-reaching
  • ensure shovels, mops and buckets are readily available
  • correct poor work practices
  • conduct joint health and safety committee monthly inspections
  • review slip, trip and fall incidents

Safe work practices

Safe work practices include:

  • clean up spills promptly
  • remove debris, snow and ice
  • routinely clean floors with appropriate solutions
  • use two hands to climb/descend ladders
  • maintain three-point contact on ladders
  • clean castors on wheeled carts
  • remove clutter from walking surfaces
  • clean grease build-up from slip resistant mats

Personal protective equipment

  • Select appropriate footwear based on a risk assessment of the job task.
  • Wear proper-fitting footwear that may include slip-resistant soles.
  • Properly select, use and maintain fall protection equipment.


Find information below on how to prevent falls in specific workplace environments.

All sectors

Proper ergonomics can protect workers from slips, trips and falls. Learn more about ladder ergonomics and what employers can do to reduce falls.

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)’s Health and Safety Excellence program can help you prevent falls in your workplace with resources about a number of topics including:

  • recognition of hazards
  • risk assessment
  • control of hazards
  • health and safety training and competency

Successfully learning about these program topics may also earn you WSIB rebates and recognition.



Health care


This resource does not replace the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations and should not be used as or considered legal advice. Health and safety inspectors apply and enforce these laws based on the facts they find in the workplace.

We have included links to other websites, but this does not mean that we endorse their information as compliant with the OHSA or the regulations.