Slips & Falls Audit: Reducing Risk

AUST – Hendry would like to remind owners and facility managers that compliant buildings and good documentation under the Building Code of Australia (BCA) can reduce the risk of injury claims against them. This can be achieved by ensuring that new buildings are compliant and that existing buildings that have inherent non-compliances have a building audit and actioned accordingly. As legislation, Standards and the BCA evolve, it is important that non compliances such as walking surfaces to stairs and ramps are checked to reduce claims against trips and slips.  Other non-compliant risks such as handrail heights and compliant glazing to impact areas also need to be assessed especially during fit-outs or refurbishments. A scope of works for a building audit should include all these items.

Slip Resistant Surfaces

The BCA is limited in clarifying the issue of slip resistance under the deemed to satisfy provisions. The most appropriate section of the BCA to consider for new buildings or alterations is the performance requirements under Part DP 2 of Volume 1 which states:

“So that people can move safely to and within a building, it must have-

(a) walking surfaces with safe gradients; and

(c) any stairways and ramps with slip resistant walking surfaces on-

(a) ramps; and

(b) stairway treads or near the edge of the nosing;”

There is also a small mention to slip resistance under BCA Part D2.10 however this is limited to fire isolated ramps. For new buildings and building refurbishments we recommend a slip test be provided by the installing contractor for pedestrian areas identified in the above extract of the BCA.