GRIP Rating Scheme Introduced to Help Prevent Slips
The Health & Safety Laboratory (HSL) has developed the GRIP rating scheme which identifies the slip resistance of footwear. The purpose of the GRIP scheme is to allow footwear users to identify suitable slip resistant footwear as a control measure to reduce their risk of slipping accidents.
According to 2013 HSE figures, slips, trips and falls cause 37% of reported injuries to employees in Great Britain. They account for 56% of all major injuries and 31% of over 7-day injuries. It is estimated that 2 million working days are lost in Great Britain due to slips, trips and falls. Footwear can provide an effective control in the prevention of slips when used alongside other reasonably practicable measures.
The European Personal Protective Equipment Directive recognises the need for slip resistance as a protective property of footwear. Demonstration of compliance with this requirement is often claimed through the use of mechanical tests. One such mechanical test (BS EN ISO 13287: 2012) forms the basis of the commonly used standards BS EN ISO 20345:2011, BS EN ISO 20346:2004 + A1: 2007 and BS EN ISO 20347:2012. These standards provide a minimum level of compliance. GRIP goes beyond this to provide valid data for use in selecting slip resistant footwear as a control measure to prevent slips.
Footwear selection should be informed by a risk assessment. For low hazard environments One Star or Two Star footwear is a sensible way to protect staff from slips. Where slips are known to occur, Three Star or Four Star footwear will reduce the occurrence of slipping. In the most challenging workplaces, Five Star footwear may be necessary to adequately control slip risk. The effectiveness of rated footwear should be monitored as part of the risk assessment review process.
The GRIP scheme only deals with the slip resistance of footwear. Whilst slips are a major issue, other safety requirements arising from risk assessments, such as toe protection, should be considered in parallel with the GRIP ratings when selecting footwear for use as Personal Protective Equipment.
- Conduct and record a risk assessment to identify the suitable slip resistant footwear required for staff
- Review the effectiveness of rated footwear as part of the risk assessment review process
Further information on the GRIP rating scheme can be found on the HSE website.
Doyle Clayton can support your business with conducting risk assessments. Please contact Sally Beck for further information.
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