Slip and fall accidents
account for a large number of deaths and serious injuries in community,
home, and work settings. According to the National Safety Council's
Accident Facts from 2007, approximately 21,600 deaths occurred
from falls. BLS statistics show over 680 fall fatalities
in 2008 occurred at work. Of this number, most are in construction
while the rest are scattered in other industries. The most
serious falls occur at heights but serious falls also occur on
walking surfaces that are not elevated. 21.8% of the workplace
injuries that resulted in lost-time were attributed to fall events,
the third highest cause.
In 2007 the BLS reported
that 67,510 non-fatal, lost-workday cases occurred in private
industry alone as a result of slips and falls to a lower level.
Perhaps more notable is that there were an additional 157,680
falls on the same working surface. Another 35,420 individuals
were injured as a result of a slip, which did not result in a
fall. These numbers represent only private industry and
only those cases which resulted in lost-time.
Prevention of falls
involves several considerations: Footwear, Walking Surfaces,
Contamination of Surfaces, Characteristics of the
Walker, and Notice of
Hazard to the Pedestrian. Since most of these factors are
out of the control of the building owner, one is left to focus
on the slip-resistance of the surface itself. In an occupational
setting, several more of the factors can be controlled.
Each flooring product and floor treatment surface producer has
a legal responsibility to provide a safe product. High Safety
Consulting Services, Ltd. offers certified testing services for