Monthly Archives: January 2015

12 common mistakes in slip, trip and fall prevention

Nano-Grip is the chemical treatment which makes floors less slippery wet than when they are dry. It is not a coating which can wear off, but a process which actually changes the floors surface at a molecular level. This process works with no change to the appearance or feel of the floor when it’s dry.

The following article which is based on a presentation to the American Society of Safety Engineers outlines 12 areas of concern when addressing the issue of slip/fall on level surfaces. Nano-Grip directly relates to 7 of these issues.

Adapted from a presentation by Keith Vidal of Vidal Engineering in St. Louis and David Natalizia of Dynamic Safety in Costa Mesa, CA,

Slips, trips and falls are routinely one of the top causes of injuries in workplaces. They also subtract from a company’s bottom line due to medical and workers’ comp insurance, lost productivity and retraining costs.

Here are 12 common mistakes made by companies when it comes to slip, trip and fall prevention:

  • Mistake #12: Starting from scratch. There’s no need to. One place to start: consensus standards, such as ASTM’s Practice for Safe Walking Surfaces and ANSI’s Standard for the Provision of Slip Resistance on Walking/Working Surfaces.
  • Mistake #11: Missing the opportunity to control walking style. Employees need to be reminded not to run and to keep their eyes on their walking path, especially while carrying items.
  • Mistake #10: Relying on ineffective measurements. Best practice: Test flooring as it will be installed and used, under expected conditions (including wetness).
  • Mistake #9: Short flight stairs and other elevation changes. Stairs with three or fewer steps need to be marked with contrasting color to other walking surfaces and be well lit. Seriously consider eliminating any change in level that’s 1/4 inch or greater.
  • Mistake #8: Footwear. Shoes meant for both indoor and outdoor working conditions may not provide the best protection against slip, trips and falls in either circumstance because of their design compromises. Shoe features that need to be considered are: tread pattern, tread composition, sole height, support, lacing and adjustment method.
  • Mistake #7: Ignoring pre-loss indicators. Slippery floors often lead to a lot of near-misses without injury before an incident with injury occurs. Attention needs to be paid to near-misses.
  • Mistake #6: Less than adequate housekeeping. Any slip, trip and fall prevention program needs to include a serious statement of commitment to keeping walking/working surfaces clean.
  • Mistake #5: Relying on single-factor solutions. While it may seem prudent to focus on the largest potential cause of slips, trips and falls in a particular facility, secondary factors shouldn’t be ignored after the primary one is addressed. Example: If a floor’s finish is addressed, the facility should still look into floor treatments, footwear, warnings and spill response.
  • Mistake #4: Unresponsive contaminant control. Contaminants aren’t just chemicals. In some facilities they may be weather-related or food. Elimination of the contaminant should be considered first, followed by reduction and then dealing with the contaminants once they’re present.
  • Mistake #3: Lack of proper cleaning procedures. Problems with cleaning range from poor spill response to improper daily cleaning to insufficient or nonexistent deep cleaning.
  • Mistake #2: Selecting flooring inappropriate for the application. If a flooring sample can be installed to test under actual conditions, that’s ideal. If that’s not possible, find other examples of similar installations to yours.
  • Mistake #1: Lack of proper follow-up. Selecting the proper flooring and establishing policies to prevent slips, trips and falls are the right places to start. But policies must be reinforced and updated if necessary. Companies should follow up on near-misses as well as injuries.

Call 855-687-0976 to arrange to have your facility evaluated by a Nano-Grip representative.wet-floor

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Major New Study Suggests Increase in Falls Among the Elderly

Nano-Grip has pioneered technologies which are changing the way gerontologists are defining and addressing the problem of slip and fall injuries among the elderly. The Nano-Grip process is not a coating which can wear off but a chemical treatment which actually changes the surface of mineral floors in a way that makes them safer wet than dry with no change to the appearance or feel of the floor when dry.

In the first major finding of the Falls Injuries Prevention Partnership project, the surprising results indicate that the rate of slip and fall events is increasing among ALL age groups, not just the most elderly.

Each year, 1 out of 3 adults aged 65 and over falls. A third of those falls result in moderate to severe injuries that can lead to further declines in health and loss of independence. Thousands of older adults die each year from such falls as well. To find effective, evidence-based strategies to address the personal and public health burden of these falls, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) have joined to support a clinical trial to test individually tailored interventions to prevent fall-related injuries. The award, made by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) of the NIH and funded by PCORI as part of the Falls Injuries Prevention Partnership of the two organizations, is expected to total some $30 million over the five-year project.

Study Suggests Increase in Falls Among the Elderly

Researchers surprised by findings indicating increase in falls not due to aging population

Released: 16-Jan-2015 9:00 AM EST

Citations JAMA Internal Medicine

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Over a 12-year period, the prevalence of self-reported falls among older adults appeared to be on the rise, according to a new nationally representative study.

Falling is the most frequent cause of injury among older adults and about a third of older adults fall each year. Researchers analyzed data from 1998-2010 among adults age 65 and over and found an 8 percent increase in falls – which translates to a relative increase of nearly 30 percent.

The findings appear in JAMA Internal Medicine.

“We expected an increase because older adults are getting older and there are more 80 and 90 year old adults than before, but we were very surprised to find that the increase in falls was not due to the changing demography,” says lead author Christine Cigolle, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor in the departments of Family Medicine and Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan and a research scientist at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC).

“We saw a higher number of falls across all age groups—not just the oldest –and that was unexpected.”

Researchers looked at trends in falling in a nationally representative sample of middle-aged and older adults in the Health and Retirement Study, which is conducted by the U-M Institute for Social Research on behalf of the National Institute of Aging.

Falling was defined as at least one self-reported fall in the preceding two years. Among all adults 65 and older, the two-year prevalence of self-reported falls increased from about 28 % in 1998 to 36 % in 2010.

Despite the greater prevalence of reported falls, however, the study did not find that older adults were reporting more fall injuries.

Authors note that programs like “Matter of Balance” that focus on making older adults more aware of balance and provide strategies to reduce risks of falling, may also improve reporting. However, further research is needed to identify possible reasons behind the numbers, such as an increase in fall risk factors (e.g., cardiovascular and psychiatric medications that may have side effects like dizziness) or an increase in fall risk behavior.

“It’s possible that older adults are more aware of fall risk and may be more likely to report it now than before,” says Cigolle, who is also a member of the Institute of Gerontology and the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.

“However, if the prevalence of falls is actually increasing as much as it seems to be, we need to do more work to identify possible factors and how we can address what we know to be a high risk among a vulnerable group.”

U-M is among 10 clinical trial sites in the country for a major study on preventing fall injuries among the elderly and to find effective, evidence-based strategies to address the personal and public health burden of falls. The trial is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). GRECC Director Neil Alexander, M.D., M.S., professor in the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at the U-M Medical School, is the lead investigator for the U-M site.

Additional Authors: Jinkyung Ha, Ph.D.; Lillian Min, M.D., MSHS; Pearl G. Lee, M.D. M.S; Neil Alexander, M.D. M.S., all of U-M. Caroline Blaum, M.D., M.S., formerly of U-M and now with New York University Langone Medical Center.
Tanya Gure M.D., of Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Funding: Dr. Cigolle is supported by grant K08 AG031837 from the National Institute on Aging.

Reference: “More older Americans report falling: the epidemiology of falls, 1998-2010,” JAMA Intern Med., Jan.19, 2015, doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.7533.