Some safety rules to follow when hiking near waterfalls include never going near the top of the waterfall, being cautious of slippery surfaces and staying out of swift currents. Waterfalls are tricky to hike around and should never be attempted without proper gear.
Slipping is one of the most common mishaps when hiking around waterfalls. If a hiker slips, he could fall or twist his ankle, which makes hiking back hard, if not impossible. Slipping is not just caused by wet surfaces but also rocks that are covered in algae. While it's true that some rocks don't become slick when wet, hikers should always be cautious, because these types of rocks are nearly impossible to tell apart from the slick ones. Even dry rocks can be slippery if they are covered in moss or other plant life. One way to avoid slipping is for the hiker to keep his center of gravity low by crouching.
Swift moving water is dangerous for two reasons. First, quickly moving water can cause hikers to lose control and even trap them under the current. Also, it's much colder than standing water. This can cause the body to go into shock or cause hypothermia if exposed to the cold temperatures for a long period of time.