#42 Slips, Trips and Falls

Falls are the number one cause of deadly accidents at home. 12,000 people die every year as a result of falling, 1,500 of those killed are at work. Each year 33,000 people receive disabling injuries from falling on stairs. Many people also fall on level ground, for a variety of reasons, almost two-thirds of them because they slipped or tripped on wet or work surfaces.

We all sometimes slip, trip, stumble or fall and usually it’s no big deal and quickly forgotten. Unfortunately many of these accidents can be serious and they are the number two cause of accidental death after traffic accidents.  Disabling injuries, such as back or spine injuries, muscle strains or sprains, torn ligaments and broken bones are all too frequently the outcome.

The biggest dangers are:

  • Unsafe ladders or stairs
  • Slippery surfaces – icy and wet surfaces
  • Improper shoes
  • Running or walking too fast
  • Poor lighting
  • Obstructions in pathways
  • Obstructed forward vision

The biggest reason for falls is attitude – not paying attention to what we’re doing! Keep an eye open of the hazards around us. Hurried or careless movements and work habits cause most falls; developing safe habits can prevent most from happening. The key is recognizing risks, quickly eliminating unsafe conditions and being prepared for the unexpected. Good housekeeping cannot be over-emphasized. Most important, be careful, take your time and look where you’re going. Don’t let something as routine as walking put you in the hospital!