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Slips, Trips and Falls: Don’t Just Blame Clumsiness

We have now entered Week 3 of National Safety Month and this week’s theme is “Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls”.

Everyone has tripped or fallen at some point, and usually we place the blame of our fall on our own clumsiness or say something like “I wasn’t paying attention”. However, there are many dangers that usually go ignored by people of all ages. In fact, the National Safety Council reported in the “Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls Factsheet” that falls account for more than 8.7 million emergency room visits each year in the U.S!

In order to prevent injuries caused by slips, trips and falls, the National Safety Council has recommended steps that you can take to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries. These steps include:

  • Keep floors and stairs clean and clear of clutter
  • Maintain good lighting both indoors and on outdoor walkways
  • Secure electrical and phone cords out of traffic areas
  • Install handrails on stairways, including porches
  • Use a sturdy step stool when climbing or reaching for high places
  • Clean up all spills immediately
  • Wear sensible footwear
  • Never stand on a chair, table or surface on wheels
  • Arrange furniture to provide open pathways to walk through
  • Periodically, check the condition of outdoor walkways and steps and repairs as necessary
  • Remove fall leaves or snow from outdoor walkways
  • Be aware that alcohol or other drugs, including prescription and over-the-counter medicine, can affect and increase risk of falling

http://www.nsc.org/nsc_events/Nat_Safe_Month/Documents/2012_Falls_Preventionpublic.pdf

We don’t have to blame our clumsiness for our falls. Most falls are preventable. Take the proper steps to reduce the risk of falling and injury to keep both yourself and others safe.

Shannon Cook, AWP Intern

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