Slips are the biggest cause of accident, injury, insurance claims and cost in most sectors. The average claim costs £10,000 but claims of £100k+ are not uncommon. Using AXA Insurance’s data, where they spend £80m a year on slips, we can see that in the UK as a whole, over £1bn is spent annually on slip accident insurance claims.
Companies also incur hidden uninsured costs: from investigation to legal to reputation. HSE has estimated the uninsured costs of an accident as 8-36X the insured costs.
Driven by claim costs, leading to unprofitable trading, the insurance market is seeing premiums rising (this is called a “hardening insurance market”). In simple terms premiums are driven by perceived risk and claims history: if you can demonstrate you are seeking to better understand and mitigate the risk factors of your biggest causes of claims, this will go a long way in protecting you against any premium increases. We’ve seen insurers give clients £50k reductions in annual premiums just for doing a slip test programme.
Equally, successfully defending claims against you comes down to having robust systems and evidence in place. A slip test helps to you scientifically prove the safety level in your building, avoiding the challenges of claimant-said, defendant-said testimony.
But of course, without any accidents no claims would arise in the first place. The safer you can make your floors, the fewer accidents you’ll suffer. Without a slip test, you simply don’t know for sure if you have a problem, or how to try solving it.
In all three of these area costs can rapidly escalate but a slip test (using the HSE approved pendulum slip test) can help because you can understand scientifically how much friction is provided by your floor in different conditions.
Without this knowledge, you are simply guessing and cannot put robust plans in place to mitigate your risk. With slip test data, you can take measurable, actionable steps to reduce risk.
A slip test is a fundamental component within our CHIMES model to holistically review and improve your slip safety. Without this slip test data, you really can’t even start to reduce your risk.
Clients that have undertaken a slip test and followed out the recommendations, it highlighted, have seen 85%+ reductions in insurance costs. For example:
- A national leisure chain saw slip-related insurance claims costs fall from £500,000+ to under £150,000
- A shopping centre in Scarborough saw zero slips in one year after they understood, thanks to a slip test, that their shiny terrazzo floor was slippery-when-wet and corrected it through an anti-slip treatment
- A large train station in London saw a 60% reduction in accidents after following the advice that a slip test directed them towards
- And, as David Scott – leading hospitality and leisure insurance claims defence lawyer – of Keoghs says: “If a client can prove that they are taking proactive steps, using expert advice on a regular basis, for example a pendulum slip test, I’m going to go in a much, much stronger footing to defend any claims that arise.”
Overall, then, a slip test should be the first port of call for anyone managing the safety of buildings to safeguard their staff and clients from the most likely cause of harm, to protect their company’s financial and reputational position, and to help to drive down the vast £1bn annual cost to UK plc of slip accident claims.