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The epidemiology of slips, trips, and falls in a helicopter manufacturing plant.

Amandus H; Bell J; Tiesman H; Biddle E
Hum Factors 2012 Jun; 54(3):387-395
Objective: The purpose of this evaluation was to evaluate the causes and costs of slips, trips, and falls (STFs) in a helicopter manufacturing plant. Background: STFs are a significant portion of the total industry injury burden. Method: For this study, 4,070 helicopter plant workers who were employed from January 1, 2004, through February 28, 2008, were enrolled. Company records on workers' compensation claims, occupational health first report of injury, and payroll records on hours worked were collected. Cause and source of all injuries, including STFs, were coded for analysis. Results: During the 4-year study period, there were 2,378 injuries and 226 STFs (46 falls [20 percent] to a lower level, 117 [52 percent] falls on the same level, 41 [18 percent] from loss of balance without a fall, and 22 [10 percent] from other events). Of the 226 STFs, 123 falls to the same level were caused by slippery substances (52), objects on floor (43), and surface hazards (28), and they cost $1,543,946. Falls to lower levels primarily involved access to stands to and from aircraft and falling off large machines. Conclusion: More than half of the STF injury claims likely could have been prevented by housekeeping and maintenance, and this cost saving could reasonably offset a considerable portion of the cost of prevention. Training and stand modifications could be considered to prevent falls from elevation from stands, machines, and aircraft. Application: Recommendations for STF prevention are discussed.
Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accident-statistics; Accidents; Work-environment; Industrial-factory-workers; Factory-workers; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Hazards; Health-hazards; Health-care; Surveillance; Medical-care; Medical-treatment; Employee-health; Emergency-care; Emergency-treatment; Worker-health; Workplace-studies; Disabled-workers; Lost-work-days; Walking-surfaces; Height-factors; Fall-protection; Floors; Aircraft; Maintenance-workers; Housekeeping-products; Ladders; Step-ladders; Training; Industrial-environment; Industrial-processes; Industrial-safety; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Author Keywords: causes and costs; helicopter plant; slips; trips; falls
Harlan Amandus, Division of Safety Research, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1095 Willowdale Road, M/S 1811, Morgantown, WV 26505
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Human Factors
Page last reviewed: March 18, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division