As highlighted by the HSE, slips and trips are the most common cause of non-fatal injuries to the general public around blocks of flats. We discuss your responsibility as a residential property management company and what you can do to minimise the risk of injury in and around your block of flats.
Risk assessing communal areas is an essential part of block management. Communal areas include the structure, exterior and roof of the flat building. A regular health & safety risk assessment is a legal requirement by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 if you have any cleaners, gardeners, managing agents or contractors working in the building. Regular health and safety risk assessments will help you identify areas that can be improved before any potential accidents occur. Look out for:
• Potential accident hazards – Are the floors in good condition or could change quickly? Are there tripping hazards, such as loose cables?
• Do you have a process for spillages? How quickly will they be cleaned?
• Consider who might be harmed. Could a resident trip in the hallway or a gardener outside the building?
• Do you have controls implemented? Do they need to be improved?
Be sure to record all your risk assessments, even if there is no legal requirement for you to do so. A clear, up-to-date record of risk assessment will help legally protect you from being sued or prosecuted for negligence should an accident occur. If you would need any further advice, speak to your block of flats insurance specialist for guidance.
According to the HSE, most slip and trip accidents occur due to poor housekeeping. The best way to prevent them is to keep up to date with your block of flats housekeeping. This should include:
• Clearing up any spills immediately, or place a clear marker on any spills.
• Keep walkways clear from any obstacles
• Ensure any cables in walkways are suitably covered
• Make sure the lighting is suitable in all communal areas and keep each walkway well-lit at all times.
If you would like further information about insurance for flats or directors and officers liability insurance, contact Flats Direct today on 0800 7316242 or 01202 862660 or get your free block of flats insurance online quote now!