Trips and falls are probably not at the top of your mind as far as safety concerns go. However, they represent a major area of safety that is partly preventable. It may not always be possible to see a hazard or anticipate a where slipping can occur but we can take steps to prevent them. The third week of this National Safety Month focuses on falls, trips, and slips.
Slips and trips can happen at the office, at home, and out and about in our daily lives. According to the National Safety Council, "falls are the third leading cause of unintentional-injury-related deaths for all ages and the number one cause of death for those 65 and older.” A major step toward preventing falls is to avoid looking at or using your phone while walking. Individuals cannot multitask, as much as we would like to, and therefore it is safer to put the phone away until you have the ability to give it your undivided attention (whether driving or walking).
The National Safety Council provides the following steps in helping to stay injury free.
- Remove clutter, including electrical cords and other tripping hazards, from walkways, stairs and doorways
- Install nightlights in the bathroom, hallways and other areas to prevent tripping and falls at night
- Always wear proper footwear and clean up spills immediately
- Place non-slip adhesive strips on stairs and non-skid mats in the shower and bathroom
- For older adults, install grab bars near showers and toilets, and install rails on both sides of stairs – older adults can also take balance classes, get their vision and hearing checked each year and talk with their doctors and pharmacist about fall risks from medication
Distracted Walking: One study, published in the Journal of Safety Research, found that over a 10-year period, distracted walking was responsible for more than 10,000 serious injuries. To limit this risk:
- Avoid cell phone use while walking, especially near crosswalks – talk with your friends and loved ones about this risk as well
- Pay special attention in busy areas, such as airports and shopping centers, and even your own house – more than half of distracted walking incidents happen at home
- Avoid other distracted walking risks, such as listening to headphones, when walking near intersections and other busy areas
- When driving, look carefully for pedestrians distracted by their phones – slow down and pay special attention in school zones
One Team. One Vision. One Goal. – Everyone Goes Home Safe!