Twenty-five thousand deaths.
That’s the number of fatalities slipping, tripping and falling caused in 2009, according to the National Safety Council in the United States.
In Queensland, Australia, approximately 13,028 older people were admitted to public and private hospitals after suffering from fall injuries in 2007-2008, as cited in the Queensland Government Website.
More than just numbers, these are facts. Behind each accident is a person. It can happen to anyone, to a co-worker, a close friend, a family member or even you.
The Dangers of Slipping and Falling
You’ll find slipping, falling or tripping can result in a more serious consequent than is usually expected. A fall or trip can cause bruises, fractures or fatal injuries that could change your life forever.
Fractures are typically the most consistent type of injury. Most sufferers could experience fracture of the spine, forearm, hip, ankle, pelvis, hand or upper arm. Serious and fatal accidents can sometimes happen as well if the victim undergoes a fall or slip from an elevated platform.
Repercussions can also vary. You can be placed out of commission for an amount of time when suffering these injuries. Sometimes, you can get away with just a cast. But with more serious accidents, you might need to alter your lifestyle as a result.
Slip and Fall Prone Areas
Businesses today are often required to conduct a slip test of their workplace. However, there are key accident-prone areas worth identifying. If you are in the office or at home, be careful of these spots.
- Steps and Stairs – Found both in public or private areas, stairs can cause trips and falls if they’re worn out from heavy foot traffic; built or designed the wrong way; or if they’re heavily carpeted and the carpet is ripped causing a potential trip hazard.
- Locker Rooms – Locker areas, especially ones with showers like at gyms or at school, can pose a serious hazard because of slippery wet floors. Slip resistance testing should be done by the establishment to ensure users are safe. These areas are also prone to causing trips and falls because of the bags, clothes or towels that clutter them.
- Pool Deck – Like locker rooms, pool decks are notorious due to the constantly wet surface. The lack of footwear, soft bare feet and build-up of contaminants such as body fats and sunscreens can also become factors for accidents near this spot.
- Entry or exit areas – Because of heavy foot traffic, entry and exit ways are also red flags for slip and fall injuries resulting from transitions into internal smooth floors that may become wet during wet weather.
- Outdoor areas – Accidents can easily happen outdoors so watch out for walkways, parking lots, sidewalks or outdoor stairs. Weather conditions outside can also affect these places. For instance, oil in car parks, snow, rain or ice can make certain walkways very slippery.
The Solution: Preventing Slips and Falls from Happening
Ensuring a floor is slip resistant means vigilance and proper maintenance. Homes, for instance, require good housekeeping. This involves cleaning up spills right away or ensuring people know about them so they can be careful.
Another solution you can take is to wear the right footwear suitable for the location. Wearing the right shoes when running or walking over uneven terrain is always a good idea.
Proper engineering can also be implemented for areas identified as hazards. You can use abrasive mats or anything that can help create traction.
Finally, hiring the services of a slip resistance testing business is ideal. Their job is to ensure your space is a safe environment for employees and guests by conducting floor slip testing measures.
This is the kind of job we do here at Slip Check. Our experts are ready to deliver top notch floor testing services for you and your business.
We are accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA.) Our company is also considered a Registered Testing Authority (RTA) as referenced within the National Construction Codes (NCC).
Made up of experts, our team provides reliable testing results. Whether you need expert help in rating your vinyl, timber, stone or tile floor; or whether you need help testing in order to comply with mandatory building codes, we’ll assist you.
Your needs matter to us.
Give us a call.
We can help you reduce the risks of slipping, tripping or falling by conducting a reliable slip test today.
Author: Carl Strautins
As a principle at Safe Environments, Carl Strautins first started his career at CSIRO conducting research in slip resistance and developed the accelerated wear slip resistance test. He holds a degree in materials science, masters in occupational health and safety and a masters in science in occupational hygiene, Carl provides guidance to industry to minimise the risk of slip and fall incidents. He is engaged on a regular basis to provide expert opinion for disputes and legal proceedings.