(The Six Sources of Slips)

Slip safety cannot be put down to any one single factor. A holistic, risk assessment based approach is needed to fully understand where risks sit and then to decide what to do to mitigate them.

Whether we are working proactively with clients, investigating an accident or acting as an expert witness, all of our consultancy and Slip Safety Survey work takes this approach.

We have developed our CHIMES model to enable a clear understanding of how to correctly review slip safety risks

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The CHIMES model

CHIMES clear background

There are Six Sources of Slips

  • Contamination
  • Heel
  • Individual
  • Maintenance
  • Environment
  • Surface

What do I need to know about the Six Sources of Slips?

At a headline level, you could consider each of the six in this way:

Contamination Are you controlling contamination effectively?
Heel Do you benefit from safety footwear controls?
Individual Are you preventing human error from contributing to slip risk?
Maintenance Have you implemented a robust floor safety maintenance system?
Environment Does your slip safety strategy take the surrounding environment into account?
Surface Do you have a suitable slip-resistant floor?


Essentially, if you can tick all the boxes on all six factors then it’s likely that you’d have very few slip accidents. Conversely if you are struggling to tick any boxes at all then you’ll probably suffer from a high slip risk.

We can help you to assess where to start

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Which of the factors are most commonly relevant?

If you consider how someone physically slips, it’s when the heel of the foot touches a floor. Therefore the foot is always relevant and the floor is always relevant.

As mentioned above, it’s often the case that you cannot control the foot element of the equation. But you always have some control over the floor. It’s no surprise therefore that the elements relating to the floor make up a full 50% of the 6 factors.

For example, it’s almost impossible to slip on a clean, dry floor surface. So if you are able to keep your floor pristinely clean and pristinely dry then that is a control that would work for you.

All floors are cleaned, but is slip safety taken into account when devising the cleaning methodology to use? Cleaning effectively is a fantastic control measure if you have an inherently slip-resistant floor surface.

slippery floor

How can I find out more detail about the CHIMES?

We’ve written articles with some additional points to consider about each of the Six Sources of Slips:

You could also take our Slip Safety Scorecard, which is a digital diagnostic tool that asks you 40 questions and gives you a personalised report setting out how you perform versus bets practice on each of the Six Sources of Slips, plus gives you hints and tips on how to improve your score.

How can Slip Safety Services help me?

We can help you to better understand your slip safety risks through a consultancy visit, incorporating a Slip Safety Survey. Our experience helps us to determine which of the Six Sources are likely to be most relevant to you, and we know how to measure these to give you practical advice on where to improve.

Wanna know how to start?

We have an exclusive team always ready to serve you!

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