NIOSH Publishes Guide to Preventing Health Care Falls

Included in the 56-page booklet is advice for preventing slips and falls caused by the top 10 hazards.

"Slip, Trip, and Fall Prevention for Healthcare Workers," DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2011-123, has been posted by NIOSH. The agency cited 2009 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data: The incidence rate of lost workday injuries from same-level slips, trips, and falls at hospitals was 38.2 per 10,000 employees, which was 90 percent above the average rate for all other private industries combined (20.1 per 10,000 employees). According to NIOSH, slips, trips, and falls are the second-most-common cause of lost workday injuries in hospitals.

The 56-page booklet, available here, includes a slips, trips, and falls checklist, prevention tips, a section about employee training and communication, and separate sections about each of 10 top hazards causing slips and falls for these workers:

  • Contaminants on the floor
  • Poor drainage (pipes and drains)
  • Indoor walking surface irregularities
  • Outdoor walking surface irregularities
  • Ice and snow
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Stairs and handrails
  • Step stools and ladders
  • Tripping hazards (clutter, loose cords, hoses, wires, medical tubing)
  • Improper use of floor mats and runners

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