According to the CDC and NIOSH, the incidence rate of lost-work days due to slip, trip or fall injuries was 90% greater in hospitals than in any other private industry. Slips, trips and falls also account for the second greatest number of lost-work days due to injury in hospitals, second to overexertion. The CDC and NIOSH created a guide for healthcare workers on prevention of slips, trips and falls. This guide provides insights on the top 10 fall hazards, and what to do about them.
The top 10 hazards include:
- Contaminants on the floor (water, fluid, food, etc.)
- Poor Drainage (which ultimately causes water to pool on the floor)
- Indoor Walking Surface Irregularities (such as chipped tile or buckled carpet)
- Outdoor Walking Surface Irregularities (such as cracks or holes in paved walkways)
- Weather Conditions: Ice and Snow (Consider the hazards outside your facility, as well as the slippery mess created in entrances from winter weather)
- Inadequate Lighting
- Stair and Handrails (poorly marked stairs, uneven stairs, improper handrails, stairways/steps with no available handrail)
- Step stools and Ladders (the improper use of step stools and ladders leads to dangerous falls)
- Clutter (loose cords, hoses, wires, medical tubing, etc.)
- Improper use of floor mats and runners
Slips, Trips, and Falls: Healthcare provides all those working in a healthcare facility with an understanding of the common causes of slips, trips and falls, as well as the means to prevent them from happening. This video also demonstrates the steps to take should a slip, trip or fall occur at your facility. It is important to pay attention to any incident no matter how minor it may seem, so you can learn to recognize hazards and eliminate them before they pose a greater risk.