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Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls

Have you ever slipped on ice, tripped up some stairs or fell off of a curb, and then looked around, hoping no one was watching? Everyone has, but hopefully we escaped with just some slight embarrassment! Unfortunately, there are some very serious statistics when it comes to people involved in a slip, a trip or a fall.

Slips, trips and falls account for:

  • 15% of all accidental deaths per year, the second-leading cause behind motor vehicles
  • Half of all accidental deaths in the home are caused by a fall.
  • Most fall injuries in the home happen at ground level, not from an elevation - source
  • Liberty Mutual estimates more than $15.57 billion per year is spent on disability claims resulting from falls (16.4 percent of falls to same level, 8.7 percent falls to a lower level) - source

In general, slips and trips occur due to a loss of traction between the shoe and the walking surface or an inadvertent contact with a fixed or moveable object which may lead to a fall. These reasons may be the cause of a slip, trip or a fall:

  • Wet or greasy floors
  • Dry floors with wood dust or powder
  • Uneven walking surfaces
  • Polished or freshly waxed floors
  • Loose flooring, carpeting or mats
  • Transition from one floor type to another
  • Missing or uneven floor tiles and bricks
  • Damaged or irregular steps; no handrails
  • Shoes with wet, muddy, greasy or oily soles
  • Clutter
  • Electrical cords or cables
  • Open desk or file cabinet drawers
  • Damaged ladder steps
  • Ramps and gang planks without skid-resistant surfaces
  • Weather hazards — rain, sleet, ice, snow, hail, frost
  • Wet leaves or pine needles

Here are some prevention techniques:

  • Never stand on a chair, table or other surface on wheels
  • Ensure adequate lighting indoors and outdoors
  • Keep drawers and cabinet doors closed at all times
  • Remove tripping hazards from stairs and walkways
  • Clean up all spills immediately
  • Wear shoes with good support and slip-resistant soles
  • Secure electrical and phone cords out of traffic areas
  • Periodically check the condition of walkways and steps, and repair damages immediately
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Thursday, 17 October 2019