This film is part of Free

The Fatal Floor

Typically hard-hitting public information film about the threat posed by combining a rug and a freshly polished floor.

Public Information Filler 1974 1 mins


“Polish a floor and put a rug on it… you might as well set a man-trap”. We then see the rug dissolving to reveal the large, rusty man-trap in question, a piece of visual hyperbole that has ensured that The Fatal Floor remains one of the best-loved of all British health’n’safety films right up to the sadistically knife-twisting (and finger-wagging) punchline “…and to think he’d only just come from the hospital”. Still, it could have been worse: the victim could have been holding his new baby.

In 1974, the Health & Safety at Work Etc. Act first laid down general principles for workplace safety, and its success can be gauged by a 76% fall in worker injuries over its first 33 years. While no equivalent legislation exists for the home, films like The Fatal Floor and campaigns by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) sought to raise awareness about how seemingly trivial issues such as rugs on polished floors can cause serious injury and even death. As RoSPA regularly points out, more accidents happen at home than anywhere else, most commonly in the form of falls.