Dec. 4, 2021

Christian Harris on Slips, Trips & Falls

Christian Harris on Slips, Trips & Falls

How can we prevent people from falling over and injuring themselves? What sounds like a simple challenge, is actually a major issue. In a normal year, over 300,000 people in the UK alone have to go going to hospital after slipping on a surface. That...


How can we prevent people from falling over and injuring themselves? What sounds like a simple challenge, is actually a major issue. In a normal year, over 300,000 people in the UK alone have to go going to hospital after slipping on a surface. That equates to 1.5 million bed days and around a billion pounds, so 1.3 billion dollars of insurance claims.

My guest on this episode, Christian Harris, is the founder of Slip Safety, a company that specialises in helping prevent these kinds of accidents.

If that sounds like an unusual business model, you’re right. But as you’ll hear there’s a lot more complexity in what makes us fall over than you might think. If you want to solve the problem, then you need a specialist to help you do that.

The more I spoke to Christian about his business, the more I realised that what he does is highly relevant to human risk. Because it’s not just a case of telling people to take more care, though sometimes it clearly is the fault of the individual who fell. But equally, sometimes the environment has been poorly designed, making the chances of people falling over unnecessarily high. This is a case of human risk manifesting itself in the physical world.

In our discussion, Christian explains what inspired him to set up the company. We also explore the dynamics of falling and how technology can help prevent it. We look at how the idea of falling over being funny — think of cartoon characters throwing banana skins down to make their nemesis fall over or comedy YouTube videos of people falling over in the snow — poses challenges when you’re trying to manage what is a very dangerous risk. And we talk about the fact that logical approaches to managing this — signs that say things like slippery when wet, might actually be counter-productive. I also get some tips from him on how we can all make ourselves less likely to fall over

Christian not only shares some wonderful insights — and you’ll be amazed at how much more complex this subject is than you might initially think — but he’s also great company. So, please enjoy my discussion with Christian Harris on Slips, Falls and Accidents.

Links to issues we discuss:

Christian’s company Slip Safety - https://slipsafety.co.uk/

Chimes model - https://slipsafety.co.uk/chimes/

Co-op incident in Truro - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-39998209

Safety & Risk Success Podcast - https://anchor.fm/safetyrisksuccess

The episode on human risk - https://anchor.fm/safetyrisksuccess/episodes/Christian-Hunt-on-The-Human-Risk--behavioural-science-in-safety-e18sa2e

Christian’s profile on LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/christian-harris-slip-safety/