Many professionals outside of safety underestimate the direct financial impact of slips and falls. Slip and fall injuries are often misunderstood and incorporated poorly into building designs and safety programs. According to the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety's 2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, Falls (on same level) accounted for 16.4% of serious disabling workplace injuries. The direct compensation cost for these injuries was a staggering $10.17 billion. It is the second leading cause of serious disabling worker injuries in the United States.
Through years of consulting with various customers, I have had success with reducing overall slips, trips, and falls for workers and guests. Success I have had in the hospitality industry has allowed me to compile a sample listing of practical solutions. While these solutions were born in the hospitality industry, they can easily be applied to many others. In the following pages, I will:
Review a holistic approach to slip, trip, fall prevention;
Discuss causes and mechanisms of slips, trips, and falls;
Summarize the importance of a formal prevention program; and
Provide multiple practical solutions related to slips, trips, and falls.
According to the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety's 2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, same-level slips, trips, and falls are the second leading cause of disabling workplace injuries in the United States. Slips, trips, and falls account for 16.4% of disabling workplace injuries and $10.17 billion in compensation costs. Slips and trips without a fall account for 3.8% of disabling workplace injuries and $2.35 billion in compensation costs. Additionally, slips, trips, falls to a lower level (i.e. fall from heights) accounted for $5.4 billion and 8.7% of disabling workplace injuries.
According to a 2001 Liberty Mutual Executive Survey of Workplace Safety, business executives perceive slips, trips, falls (same level) to be a less serious concern. During the study, executives were asked to rate the perceived causes of losses. The survey indicated that executives felt falls were the seventh cause overall, while in fact, they are the second leading cause.