Safety at home or work – The floor plays a pivotal role

Although the walking surface is most likely to be identified as the primary cause of a slip, trip-and-fall accident, comprising 55% of all falls, the remaining 45% are attributable to four other factors, including footwear, fraud, hazard identification, and training. Therefore, a property owner’s slip-and-fall prevention strategy should focus on a comprehensive approach that addresses all causes, especially the floors of this premises.

Despite the fact that the USA (and its population) is much larger than South Africa, the percentages contained in slip-and-fall facts that are available must have some relevance to those in this country, so it is worth taking a look at their current experience.

Fall fatalities are nearly equally divided between men and women. However, more women will experience a slip-and-fall accident. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls accounted for 5% of the job-related fatalities for women compared to 11% for men.

Falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency-room visits, representing the leading cause of visits (21.3%). Slips and falls account for over 1 million visits, or 12% of total falls, and fractures are the most serious consequences of falls, and occur in 5% of all people who fall. In addition, slips and falls do not constitute a primary cause of fatal occupational injuries, but represent the primary cause of lost days from work, and are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims.

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