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Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls

Sign with stick figure slipping on a wet surface.

Slip, trips and falls are a major cause of injury not only on the job but also in all other aspects of life such as while at home, out shopping and when doing leisure activities. There are many things you can do to prevent injuries from an unexpected fall.

Here are our top tips for preventing slips, trips and falls in your home or workplace:

  • Clean up all spills and debris immediately.
  • Mark spills and wet areas with a caution sign.
  • Remove obstacles from walkways and always keep them free of clutter.
  • Ensure mats, rugs and carpets lay flat. If necessary, secure them to the floor.
  • Always close file cabinet and storage drawers.
  • Bundle and secure cables under desks to prevent tripping.
  • Do not run cables across walkways. If absolutely necessary, cover cables that cross walkways.
  • Ensure working areas and walkways are well lit.
  • Take your time and pay attention to where you are going. Do not walk and multitask (i.e. text, read emails, etc.).
  • Adjust your stride to a pace that is suitable for the walking surface and the tasks you are doing.
  • Make wide turns at corners so as not to bump into others.
  • Watch for damaged flooring and replace or repair as soon as possible.
  • Do not carry so many things or push a cart that is so overfilled that you are not able to see obstructions, spills, etc.
  • Wear proper fitting footwear with good support and slip-resistant soles.
  • Exercise regularly. Physical activities such as dancing, water activities, tai chi and walking can improve your balance and coordination.
  • Visit the doctor regularly to check for vision loss, hearing loss, foot pain or medications that may cause dizziness.

Learn more about how to prevent slips, trips and falls from these resources:

Northern New England Geriatric Center
NH Falls Prevention Task Force
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Balance and Vestibular Center

John Kannis, Jr., MSPH is the Director of Environmental Safety for Dartmouth-Hitchcock.