The World Health Organisation reports that approximately 30 per cent of people over 65 years of age fall each year, and for those over 75 the rates are even higher. Between 20 and 30 per cent of those who fall suffer injuries that reduce independence and mobility as well as increase the risk of premature death.
With this perturbing revelation, it is crucial to conduct slip resistant testing and implement methods to reduce the risks of slips, trips and falls at home, in the office and other commercial establishments.
But before that, understand the various risk factors first. Knowing these will help you address the problem properly, thereby reducing the risk of falling, slipping or tripping, especially for elders.
Slips, trips and falls become more common as we get older, with the risk significantly increasing due to the natural changes that our body undergoes as we age. Some of these biological changes include muscle weakness, compromised vision, feet and leg changes, cognitive impairment, poor balance, chronic illness, disease, physical disability and depression; all of which can induce accidents or injuries that are slip-, trip- or fall-related.
Medicines and prescription drugs can increase your risk of falling because of their side effects, such as dizziness, wobbliness and drowsiness.
Using inappropriate footwear and clothing, drinking excessive alcohol and other risk-taking behaviours like climbing ladders and participating in strenuous activities and extreme sports may cause slips, trips and falls.
Poor building design (e.g. lack of handrails or grab bars, bad lighting and slippery floor surfaces), general wear and tear and lack of maintenance may contribute to fall, trip or slip hazards at home or in the office. Since accidents can happen anywhere, it is imperative to make sure that your environment is as safe as possible to minimise the risk of injuries
Word of Advice
Although it’s difficult to influence biological risk factors, by promoting a healthy lifestyle we can lessen the risk. Have regular check-ups with your physician to ensure that your health condition is monitored and your medications are regularly reviewed.
You can also reduce some of the other risk factors with careful and controlled behaviour as well as by assessing your surroundings. Contact professional slip assessment services like Slip Check to help assess your floor safety.
Apart from implementing slip testing methods, it is crucial that you apply slip resistance methods, such as using the right flooring material (as discussed in our previous article) in the design of the building as well as practising preventative measures (e.g. clearing up clutter, using appropriate lighting and fixing uneven floors) to reduce the likelihood of slips, trips and falls.
Injuries associated with slips, trips and falls are driven by behavioural, biological, medical and environmental risk factors. It is important to learn and address these risk factors to avoid accidents from happening.