NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Preventing slips, trips, and falls in wholesale and retail trade establishments.

Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2013-100, 2012 Oct; :1-4
Employees in Wholesale and Retail Trade (WRT) establishments suffer high rates of slip, trip, and fall (STF) injuries. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends measures to ensure a safe workplace and prevent injuries. WRT includes employees engaged in wholesaling merchandise-that is, preparing, distributing, and selling merchandise in retail operations, and services related to those activities. More than 21 million employees work in the wholesale and retail industries. STFs are the second most common cause of lost-workday injuries in general industry and can cause back injuries, sprains, strains, contusions, fractures, severe head injuries, paralysis, and even fatalities. STFs are the third most common cause of lost-workday injuries in WRT establishments. Seventy-five percent of the total STF injuries in WRT occur on the same level [BLS 2010; UWSP 2010]. Slips occur as a result of low friction between the shoe and walking surface; trips occur when a person's foot contacts an object or drops to a lower level; and falls can result from either a slip or trip [UWSP 2010]. Among other risk factors, WRT employees must frequently handle and move materials, putting them at higher risk for STF injuries. Employees in retail operations have a higher incidence rate of STF injuries than private industry employees overall. Employees in grocery stores and establishments where meat is handled are at particular risk, with a 75% greater than average industry rate for all other private industries combined (28.3 vs. 16.1 per 10,000 employees) [BLS 2010; Anderson and Mulhern 2010].
Workers; Work-areas; Fall-protection; Injuries; Accidents; Safety-measures; Retail-workers; Back-injuries; Head-injuries; Traumatic-injuries; Risk-factors; Employee-exposure; Employee-health; Employees; Workers; Work-areas; Work-environment; Surveillance
Publication Date
Document Type
Numbered Publication; Workplace Solutions
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2013-100; B20121218B
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Services; Wholesale and Retail Trade; Manufacturing
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division