Monthly Archives: March 2014

Leveraging Nano-Concepts resources

 Are you taking advantage of all the benefits that Nano-Concepts has to offer?

As a Nano-Concepts partner you have access, through the log-in area of our website, to a world of assets which will benefit your business.

For the promotion of your business we offer customizable brochures and postcards, check back often – new ones are added on a regular basis. We have promotional videos which you can download and use in email marketing or as part of sales presentations on your tablet or laptop. Follow our twitter postings for industry news and interesting material you can re-post yourself.

Are you using a QR code? We can generate one for you. This code can be used on your brochures, vehicle signs, stickers, business cards etc. and anyone with a smart phone can access your website or static ad in about 2 seconds.

Continuing sales education is available by visiting our online training academy or participating in our webinars. We conduct two types of sales training webinars, instructional- where we have covered topics like cold calling, elevator pitch, overcoming objections and closing, and round table- where operators share information and experiences. If you haven’t yet been involved in one please try and make time to do so, they are typically held 3:30 EST on Friday afternoons. For those who aren’t able to be part of one, they are recorded and available on our website to listen to anytime.

Product education is another focus of our webinars. Guest presenters introduce new products and offer education about their use. Archived webinars cover products such as the heavyweight brush, Liquiguard coatings, and most recently the Nano-Zyme enzymatic kitchen floor aftercare cleaner.

We also have several blogs which are periodically updated and contain information about our industry, or business practices in general.

In closing, if you open our weekly newsletters, follow our twitter feed, participate in our webinars, check in on our blogs, participate in our online forums, and take advantage of the training modules at our training academy you will position yourself to be an industry leader in your market.

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Slip/falls among the elderly

 

Falls Among Older Adults: An Overview

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) each year, one in every three adults age 65 and older falls.1 Falls can cause moderate to severe injuries, such as hip fractures and head traumas, and can increase the risk of early death. Fortunately, falls are a public health problem that is largely preventable.

How big is the problem?

  • One out of three older adults (those aged 65 or older) falls each year1 but less than half talk to their healthcare providers about it.
  • Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries.
  • In 2010, 2.3 million nonfatal fall injuries among older adults were treated in emergency departments and more than 662,000 of these patients were hospitalized.
  • In 2010, the direct medical costs of falls, adjusted for inflation, was $30 billion.

What outcomes are linked to falls?

 

  • Twenty to thirty percent of people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries such as lacerations, hip fractures, or head traumas.5,6  These injuries can make it hard to get around or live independently, and increase the risk of early death.
  • Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries
  • In 2000, 46% of fatal falls among older adults were due to
  • Most fractures among older adults are caused by falls.8 The most common are fractures of the spine, hip, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm, and hand.
  • Many people who fall, even if they are not injured, develop a fear of falling.10 This fear may cause them to limit their activities, which leads to reduced mobility and loss of physical fitness, and in turn increases their actual risk of falling.

Who is at risk?

Fall-related Deaths

  • The death rates from falls among older men and women have risen sharply over the past decade.
  • In 2010, about 21,700 older adults died from unintentional fall injuries.
  • Men are more likely than women to die from a fall. After taking age into account, the fall death rate in 2010 was 40% higher for men than for women.
  • Older whites are 2.4 times more likely to die from falls as their black counterparts.
  • Rates also differ by ethnicity. Older non-Hispanics have higher fatal fall rates than Hispanics.

Fall Injuries

  • People age 75 and older who fall are four to five times more likely than those age 65 to 74 to be admitted to a long-term care facility for a year or longer.
  • Rates of fall-related fractures among older women are more than twice those for men.
  • Over 95% of hip fractures are caused by falls.15 In 2010, there were 258,000 hip fractures and the rate for women was almost twice the rate for men.
  • White women have significantly higher hip fracture rates than black women.

How can older adults prevent falls?

Older adults can stay independent and reduce their chances of falling.

They can:

  • Exercise regularly. It is important that the exercises focus on increasing leg strength and improving balance, and that they get more challenging over time. Tai Chi programs are especially good.
  • Ask their doctor or pharmacist to review their medicines—both prescription and over-the counter—to identify medicines that may cause side effects or interactions such as dizziness or drowsiness.
  • Have their eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year and update their eyeglasses to maximize their vision.  Consider getting a pair with single vision distance lenses for some activities such as walking outside.
  • Make their homes safer by reducing tripping hazards, adding grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the toilet, adding railings on both sides of stairways, and improving the lighting in their homes. Application of a non slip treatment like Nano-Grip to tubs, showers, tiles and concrete is key to protecting their health.

ANSI Floor Safety Standards, a historical review

 

This information detailing the ANSI standard that addresses slip resistance on walking and working surfaces was initially published in 2002 but provides valuable information to this day. It was drafted help reduce slip and fall incidents, a major cause of workplace fatalities. I am providing it here for background information.

Nano-Grip addresses the issue of slippery floors by actually changing the surface of the floor and rendering it less slippery when wet than dry. A Nano-Gripped floor will meet or exceed ANSI and government standards with no change in its appearance.

 

Some 15 percent of accidental workplace deaths are caused by slips, trips and falls, which are second only to traffic crash fatalities as a leading cause of fatal workplace injuries.

 

Focusing on reducing slips and falls in the workplace, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) recently published a new American National Standard: “Standard for the Provision of Slip Resistance on Walking/Working Surfaces (A1264.2)”.

 

“This standard can help safety professionals reduce workplace slips and falls, providing basic guidelines for professionals to apply to their own workplace,” said Keith Vidal, of St. Louis, Mo., chair of the A1264.2 subcommittee and an ASSE member. “The A1264.2 standard is a useful tool in developing a slip/trip/fall prevention program or updating an existing one. This standard defines slip resistance in terms and aspects that were not covered in previous standards and that can be used by safety professionals in the work environment today.”

 

The American National Standard A1264.1-1995 “Safety Requirements for Workplace Floor and Wall Openings, Stairs and Railing Systems,” as well as many regional model building codes, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, and other American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards use the term “slip resistance”. The A1264.2 standard was necessary to further define the term slip resistance and to establish common and accepted practices for providing reasonably safe walking and working surfaces. The standard was approved by ANSI July 2, 2001, with ASSE serving as secretariat for the A1264 Standards Committee.

 

The A1264.2 explores surface characteristics, footwear traction properties and environmental factors of slip resistance to ensure a safer walking and working environment. It explains floor characteristics, including the installation of mats and runners, controlling access to areas with a slippery environment and provided appropriate signage, footwear traction properties, such as a shoe’s sole design to ensure slip resistance, housekeeping training and maintenance, surface testing equipment and floor selection.

Useful information for the floor safety professional

Some of the verbiage used when discussing slips, trips and falls includes:

  • Asperities: Raised edges or abrasives on a walking surface that help make it safer to walk on. Often, asperities are applied to a floor surface, such as adding sand to a slippery surface, to give more traction.
  • Coefficient of friction: This phrase, often abbreviated as COF, refers to the amount of friction on a dry surface when tested with a slip meter. Slip resistance, a related term, is used when referring to the amount of traction on a floor or on shoes. Nano-Grip technicians use a digital device called a slip meter which measures the coefficiency of floors friction before and then after treatment.
  • Contributing factors: Frequently used when describing slip-and-fall accidents or related legal issues, this term simply means any conditions that may have affected or contributed to a potential slip, trip or fall.
  • Human factors: Related to contributing factors, human factors are those that relate to individuals’ differing physical capabilities. For instance, an elderly person slips on a floor that is frequently walked on by younger people who do not slip on the same floor. Younger people typically have greater agility and faster reactions than an older person; the older person slipped due to their age — a human factor.
  • Level changes: This could refer to the fact that two adjoining floor surfaces are not flush with one another or to floor height changes of three or fewer steps. Stairs, another term, are a series of steps — normally more than three — from one level to another.
  • Polymerization: Often associated with foodservice floors, polymerization refers to the buildup of greases and soils that, if not properly removed, makes a walking surface slippery. The term has other meanings and is also used when discussing the chemicals and chemical processes in producing floor finish.
  • Riser: The riser is the vertical part of a stair or step; a tread is the horizontal part of a step.
  • Slope: Slope refers to an inclined walking surface and is calculated mathematically. For instance, a 1.20 slope would mean that, for every foot of rise on a floor, a walker travels a distance of 20 feet.
  • Surface changes: This refers to an immediatetransition from one type of flooring material to another, such as from walking on carpet to walking on a hard surface floor. This is related to surface composition, which describes the type of material that makes up a floor surface.
  • Surface conditions: This phrase refers to a floor’s condition at a specific time, such as wet, dry, slippery or tacky — an important factor in slip-and-fall accidents.
  • Unusual features: An unusual feature is anything out of the ordinary that might have contributed to a floor-related accident.
  • Visibility: This term refers to the relative ability to view one’s surroundings, especially where someone is walking.

As you can see from the above listed information, there are many components which can go into the evaluation of a floors potential to cause a slip and fall event. Some of the factors listed can not be easily remedied, but others such as poor lighting, clutter, and certainly slippery floors can and should be rectified. In fact, failure to do so can lead to exposure to legal action in the event of an injury. An evaluation of the floors coefficient of friction by a Nano-Grip  technician is the first step to preventing costly lawsuits.