There’s nothing funny about slips, trips and falls

By Samantha Murray

When you think about the fact that in the US, slips, trips and falls cause 15% of all accidental deaths and 10% of all injuries, it’s no joking matter.  Each year, falls account for over 8 million hospital room visits in the US and 1 million of those falls are caused from slips.

  • Slips and falls are the primary cause of lost days from work.
  • Slips and falls are the leading cause of work injuries for people over aged 55.
  • With each decade of life, your incidence of falls increases.

Slips, trips and falls are a hazard any time of year, but these types of incidents increase when the leaves fall and the wintery weather begins to blow in. Understanding what causes slips, trips and falls and how to prevent them will help keep you safe at work and at home.

Why slips, trips and falls happen

slip graphicSlips happen when there is not enough friction between a person’s feet and the walking surface resulting in a loss of balance and a possible fall. Many factors can contribute to a lack of friction including:

  • Slippery floor surfaces
  • Slippery materials on floor surfaces
  • Improper footwear

tripsTrips happen because of loss of footing. Common tripping hazards include:

  • Poor housekeeping (cluttered work areas)
  • Objects at knee or ankle level
  • Defects and uneven walking surfaces, poor lighting, and carrying a load.


Falls can occur at ground level as a result of slipping or tripping or can happen from an elevation.  falls-featureMost fall injuries in the home happen at ground level not from an elevation and can be serious or fatal. At National Grid we see falls occurring when entering or exiting our company trucks and other vehicles. These types of falls carry an even higher risk of injury or death due to the distance and the force of the fall.

Slips, trips and falls can be prevented

Be especially alert for slick walking surfaces; around building entrances, in eating and drinking areas, around fountains, sinks, or other sources of water, on sidewalks and parking lots.  If you see a slip hazard, report them to Facilities Hotline immediately at 877-636-0411.

  • Keep your eyes on the path and avoid slippery surfaces.
  • Wear proper footwear that improves friction.
  • Order your winter PPE now!
  • Take ‘baby” steps when walking on slippery surfaces can’t be avoided.
  • Keep walkways free of clutter, cords and cables.
  • Ensure adequate lighting of walking and working areas.
  • Avoid carrying large loads up or down stairs.
  • Use three points of contact on stairs, ladders and when exiting and exiting vehicles.
  • Do not rush.

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