© Ennis Physiotherapy Clinic, 3A Barrack Close, Barrack Street, Ennis, Co. Clare V95 X437 Tel: (065) 6840757
Mon - Fri 9.30am - 8.30pm
3a Barrack Close, Barrack St., Ennis, Co. Clare V95 X437
Key Messages for Fallers
Falls are preventable. Falls generally are accidental and unplanned (unless you are a stuntman or a goalkeeper!) but the risk of falling can be reduced and minimised.
Every working day seven people are hurt in workplace slips, trips and falls with at least one of those so badly hurt that they miss over a month from work
Slips, trips and falls are the second highest single cause of workplace injuries - there were about 1,700 workplace slips, trips and falls reported to the HSA in 2017 Slips, trips and falls are more likely to lead to significant time off work compared to all other accidents. Females account for a significant percentage of slips, trips and falls victims
Slips, Trips and Falls (STF) were the most common workplace accident type for the Injuries Board. Nearly 50% of all claims made against retailers are slips, trips and falls cases according to Retail Ireland and account for the largest cause of accidents across all sectors according to the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.
Slips account for about half of all slips, trips and falls but this increases to 80% where floor surfaces are wet, slippery or where cleaning is occurring.
Factors that have been identified in workplace slips, trips and falls include:
Key areas to consider when assessing the risk for slips, trips and falls include
Spills can occur in every workplace and the resulting wet surface increases the likelihood of a slip or falls occurring. Therefore it is important to have procedures in place to reduce this likelihood.
High Risk Areas
High risk areas need to be identified.
The floor in a workplace must be suitable for the type of work activity that will be taking place on it. Where a floor can't be kept dry, people should be able to walk on the floor without fear of slipping on it. It should have sufficient roughness (slip resistance) and must be fitted correctly.
High risk areas will include transition areas, where pedestrians move between areas of different levels of grip, i.e. from dry to wet surfaces at exits. It is important that:
Damaged flooring is high risk of slips, trips and falls. Identify it and have it repaired. Avoid damage to floors where possible.
Trailing cables and hoses are a trip hazard. Possible control measures include:
Slippery surfaces are also high risk areas. High gloss or highly reflective = high risk.
Over Used Warning Signs
Warning signs do not physically keep people away from wet floors. They will not substitute for protective measures.
During scheduled / routine floor cleaning keep pedestrians away from wet / moist floors by using physical barriers.
Remove when they are no longer applicable.
Good housekeeping standards are everyone’s responsibility and may include:
Shoes (Safety Footwear)
Employers should provide personal protective equipment (PPE) footwear if needed at no cost to the employee. Consider the following;
Employers have a responsibility to control risks from slips, trips and falls. This includes:
1. Conducting workplace specific slips, trips and falls risk assessment(s)
2. Conducting audits as required to ensure responsibilities are met
3. Providing personal protective equipment (e.g. slip-resistant footwear) if required
4. Ensuring employees receive appropriate training and instructions
Employees also have responsibilities in relation to controlling the risk from slips, trips and falls, including:
1. Reporting anything dangerous, e.g. damaged flooring, spills
2. Using and taking proper care of any personal protective equipment, e.g. slip-resistant footwear. Back to Top
A Fall is a sudden uncontrolled movement causing the body to move downwards to make contact with a lower level or the ground, typically rapidly and without control.
A slip is to lose one's footing (base of support) which causes an unintentionally slide for a short distance. This may result in a fall if the centre of gravity comes outside of the base of support.
A trip is to catch one's foot unexpectedly on something while moving causing one to stumble or fall.
How to Stay Safe + Help Avoiding Falling
It is often suggested that older people should slow down and take things easy. If older people stay active and put their bodies through full ranges of motion they will maintain their joints, muscles and nerves, which enables normal movement to occur.
Exercise will help maintain / improve balance and reduces the risk of falls. Therefore:
Dealing with falls
If you or a relative has suffered from repeated falls, speak to a physiotherapist, occupational therapist or GP to discuss having a falls assessment. You can also:
Falls and Frailty in Older People
Many falls do not result in injury but do impact on confidence and increase fear. Many times falls among older people are preventable.
Falls represent over half of all hospital admissions for accidental injury amongst older people
Who is most at risk?
How much risk?
Any YES answer = increased risk. If there are 3+ YES answers there is a high risk of falling.
Role of Chartered Physiotherapist
If you are worried about falls you should seek advice from a chartered physiotherapist. They can advise on how to keep mobile + flexible and how to prevent a fall.
Physiotherapists can help with advice on:
Physiotherapists may assess a home for slipping + tripping hazards and then;-
Risk factors that are not not modifiable with exercise include age, gender, chronic medical conditions, + non-correctable vision.
Risk factors that are modifiable include poor balance, fear of falling, low strength and power, poor gait and functional ability, depression and arthritic pain, which may all be helped by exercise.
Many older people do not injure themselves in a fall, but have great difficulty getting up again after the fall, thus remaining on the floor for some time - ‘a long lie’. Shock, injury, fear of further damage to the body by trying to move and a lack of physical fitness or knowledge how to get up may be important causes of remaining on the floor. Training on how to get up from the floor may be very useful for those who have fallen, and indeed for those at risk of falling for the first time.
For those who have not yet fallen, there are many more vigorous exercise programmes that may be appropriate – like Tai Chi, dancing and bowls.
A Falls Exercise Programme should (re)train the ability to get up from the floor. It should also practice other skills such as crawling + rolling, summoning help and keeping warm while on the floor.
|Home Exercise Programme|
|Spine Related Problems|
|Upper Limb Injuries|
|Lower Limb Injuries|
|Muscle Physiology and Energetics|
|Returning to Physical Activity|
|Training and Rehabilitation|
|Racquet Sport Injuries|
|Musician and Dancers Injuries|
|Apartment for Altitude Training|