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Slips, trips and falls in US hospital workers-detailed investigation.

Courtney TK; Lombardi DA; Sorock GS; Wellman HM; Verma S; Brennan MJ; Collins J; Bell JL; Chang WR; Gronqvist RA; Wolf L; DeMaster E; Matz M
Proceedings of the 16th World Congress on Ergonomics (IEA2006), July 10-14, 2006, Maastricht, The Netherlands. Pikaar RN, Koningsveld EAP, Settels PJM, eds. Madison, WI: International Ergonomics Association, 2006 Jul; :1-4
In 2003 the health services sector was the largest employer in the USA, and slips, trips and falls (STF) accounted for the largest proportion of lost time injuries (20%). A follow-back study of hospital workers who STF was conducted to better describe STF circumstances and inform ergonomic interventions. One hundred twenty-three health care workers, who reported a STF to the occupational health department in seven US hospitals, were recruited and interviewed using a structured telephone questionnaire. Participants were predominantly female (86%) with a mean age (range) of 46 (19-67). One hundred and eight workers (88%) fell: 53% after slipping, 32% after tripping. Liquid contaminants (e.g., water, cleaning solutions) were involved in 36% of the events. Sixty-four percent of the STF occurred at a transitional area: dry/wet (32%), one type of floor to another (20%), or uneven surfaces (15%). Forty-one percent of workers fell forward, 23% fell to the side, and 21 % fell backward. While the hands, knees, and buttocks were most often the points of impact, the back, knees, ankles/feet were most frequently injured. For workers who were injured (93%), strains and sprains (29%), contusions (27%), and non-specific pain and soreness (24%) were typical. Other injuries included abrasions, fractures, edema and lacerations.
Injury-prevention; Injuries; Traumatic-injuries; Health-care-facilities; Health-care-personnel; Nurses; Ergonomics; Surveillance; Epidemiology; Statistical-analysis; Women; Questionnaires
Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, Hopkinton, MA 01748 USA
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Pikaar RN; Koningsveld EAP; Settels PJM
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Disease and Injury: Traumatic Injuries
Source Name
Proceedings of the 16th World Congress on Ergonomics (IEA2006), July 10-14, 2006, Maastricht, The Netherlands
WV; MA; MD; Mo; FL
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division