Prevention of Slips, Trips, and Falls

Posted on June 22, 2015

watchyourstep
Whether you are at work, home, or in the community, falls can be a serious concern for people of all ages.  Falls may result in minor cuts and bruises or be as serious as to cause fracture, hemorrhage, or even loss of life.  This week’s National Safety Month message is designed to give you the low-down on falls and help you stay vertical!

Workplace Slips, Trips, & Falls

  • According to OSHA and the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) slips, trips, and falls account for the majority of all workers’ compensation injuries and are second only to motor vehicle accidents in jobsite fatalities.
  • Falls at the workplace account for 8 million emergency room visits each year
  • Falls also represent the most common cause of lost work days and result in 70 billion dollars in compensation and medical costs each year

 

Slips, Trips & Falls at Home

  • Half of all accidental deaths in the home are caused by slips, trips, and falls, with the elderly being most at risk for injury
  • Each year 1 in 3 people over the age of 65 will experience a fall, with up to 50% of those being repeat fallers
  • According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2005 15,000 people over the age of 65 died as a result of a fall and 1.8 million received medical attention due to a fall

 

Factors Affecting Slips, Trips & Falls

  • External Causes
    • Lack of proper walkways or increased clutter
    • Electrical cords
    • Throw rugs
    • Lighting issues
    • Ice/wet surfaces
    • Uneven surfaces
    • Internal Causes
      • Dizziness/Lightheadedness (i.e. from medications or dehydration)
      • Rushing/Standing too quickly
      • Improper footwear
      • Impaired vision
      • Muscle weakness/fatigue

       

Tips to Avoid Slips, Trips, & Falls

  • Maintain appropriate walkways at work and in your home
  • Clean up all spills immediately and place proper signage to indicate wet surfaces
  • Secure all carpets and avoid using loose throw rugs
  • Install grab bars and non-slip pads in bathroom/shower
  • Maintain adequate lighting in your home, including use of nightlights for late night bathroom breaks
  • Keep frequently used items in easily accessible locations around your work and home
  • Wear proper prescription vision aides as needed
  • Wear appropriate shoes for weather and walking surface conditions
  • Avoid standing suddenly or making quick turns if you experience issues with dizziness
  • Always use your required assistive device (cane, walker, etc), DON’T be a “furniture walker”!

 

At Advantage Physical Therapy we always love working with our patients, but our number one priority is keeping them safe!  If you experience a slip, trip, or fall we would love to help you back on your feet and keep you there!

It has been our pleasure sharing these safety tips with you over the past few weeks in honor of National Safety Month.  Please feel free to contact us with any questions or to schedule an appointment in the event that an accident does happen.

The final Advantage “What I live for” Connection is provided by our Owner, Lisa Kemp.

“What I live for is…

“To empower and inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more so that they may reach their highest potential”— Lisa Kemp PT, DPT

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