Put Your Foot Down
Falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits, representing the leading cause of visits (21.3%). Slips and falls are one of the most frequent causes of accidents, both on and off the job. Each year in the United States, more than 300,000 people suffer disabling injuries from falls. Slips and falls can be fatal as well; they rank second only to automobile accidents, causing nearly 12,000 deaths a year.
Falls are of two basic types: elevated falls and those on the same level. Same-level falls are most frequent, but elevated falls are more severe. Same-level falls are usually slips or trips. Injury results when the individual hits a walking or working surface or strikes another object during the fall. Over 60% of elevated falls are from less than 10 feet.
Slips and falls are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims and are the leading cause of occupational injury for people aged 55 years and older. Proper footwear for your environment is one of the best ways to prevent slips and falls. Softer shoes are better for slippery indoor conditions, while the harder, more rugged, non-flexible sole is best suited for outdoor use. In the service industry, shoes or boots should provide three major type of protection:
- The soles and heels should be slip-resistant
- The toe of the show should resist crushing injuries
- The shoe should support the ankle
The best defense in prevention of Slip, Trips, and Falls is three fold: Awareness, Clean/Organized work area and walking surfaces, and proper footwear.