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Slip, Trips and Fall Prevention

Slips, trips, and falls account for accidental deaths, second only to automobile fatalities. 

Slips and falls account for over 1 million hospital visits annually in the USA.

What is the difference between a slip, trip, or fall? Very little, if you are the victim. The pain is the same, Actually, though, there really are some significant differences.

Slips occur when there is too little friction or traction between your feet and the walking surface. The most common causes of slips are wet surfaces, ice or other weather hazards, spills, and poor tread on footwear. Preventive measures include:

  • Wet surfaces: Shorten your stride, walk with feet pointed out slightly, and make wider turns.
  • Spills: Clean up immediately. If you are unfamiliar with the contents of the spill, contact EH&S or Public Safety
  • Weather hazards: Walk more slowly so you can react to traction changes. Wear slip resistant shoes or boots, and dry off shoes as soon as practical after entering a building (wet shoes on dry floors are as dangerous as dry shoes on wet floors). Wear sunglasses on sunny winter days so you can more easily see slippery areas.
  • Wear slip resistant footwear, look ahead where you’re going and anticipate obstacles like uneven ground, ice or puddles

Trips commonly occur when you foot strikes an object and your momentum throws you off balance. To minimize the potential for this type of injury:

  • Do not allow carried packages to obstruct your view.
  • If glasses fog due to atmospheric changes, clear them immediately.
  • Use only proven walkways.
  • Close desk and file drawers when not in use.
  • Report burned out or missing lights.
  • Be aware of elevator threshold positions
  • Report any uneven or broken pavement, sidewalks, or handrails

Falls usually take place from one level to another. Preventive measures include:

  • NEVER stand on a chair to reach a high object. Always use a ladder.
  • When using ladders, select the proper type and size, and use it properly. Do not step/stand on the top 2 ladder rungs. 
  • Walk up and down stairs, and never jump from the last step.
  • Use handrails.
  • Walk.
  • Report any unsafe conditions.