Falls are a leading cause of unintentional injuries in the United States. Approximately 8.9 million emergency department visits annually are associated to falls. They are also the second-leading cause of unintentional deaths in homes and communities.
The most common locations where falls are reported to have occurred are:
- Uneven surfaces
- Unstable work surfaces
- Cluttered hallways
- Unguarded heights
- Areas prone to spills or wet substances/moisture
Who are at risk of falling? Everyone! Everyone is capable of becoming victim to a fall, but some people are at higher risk than others. Adults over the age of 55 are more prone to falling and injury. These falls may diminish their ability to remain active and independent due to the injuries sustained. Falls among people 65 and older are actually four times higher than all other age groups.
Slips and falls can, in many instances, be prevented by taking precautionary measures. Many of us have seen preventative measures in place every day and probably not even noticed them. In stores there are floor mats placed in areas prone to heavy traffic from outdoors or where spills may be likely to occur. When a spill occurs you may see an employee standing beside a caution sign warning passersby to be careful as they approach. Stores train employees in how to respond in the event of a spill or a slip and fall incident.
Slip and fall accidents can result in significant injury and in some instances, death. Medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses can accumulate following a fall which resulted in injury. Sometimes the effects of the injuries from a fall can be short lived, while in other cases they can affect the victim for the remainder of their life.