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Slips, Trips and Fall Prevention

Slips, trips and falls account for 15% of accidental deaths, second only to automobile fatalities. Slips and falls also account for over 1 million hospital visits annually in the USA.

Below are the differences between a slip, trip and fall, as well as common causes and prevention. 

Wet floor caution sign on wet pavement

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 your feet pointed out slightly, and make wider turns.
  • Spills: Clean up immediately. If you are unfamiliar with the contents of the spill, contact EHS 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 to see slippery areas more easily.
  • Wear slip-resistant footwear, look ahead where you’re going, and anticipate obstacles like uneven ground, ice, or puddles.

Commonly occur when your 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.

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

  • Not standing 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.