Monthly Archives: March 2015

A study of the physiological causes of slip and fall incidents

This article originally appeared in the March 2015 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

Attentionally Avoiding Traps – and Trips

The takeaway is this is a combo skillset that is neither haphazard nor hereditary; attention control can definitely be improved with the right practices.

When attention slips, so can we. Likely because the mind leads the body. Attention is much more than solely “mental” – it drives what our body does. Every action begins with our brain sending signals to activate specific muscles for accomplishing selected tasks such as reaching, grabbing, lifting, or walking. In other words, what we see + what we intend + what we direct all lead to what we actually do. Understanding this, internal martial arts masters instruct students to initially focus on affecting attacker’s perceptions: “First move their mind in order to move their body.” Similarly, skid control trainers remind drivers to “Stare, don’t steer, into a turn.” That where you focus is where you’ll wind up heading (termed “target fixation” in aviation.)

Turning attention toward preventing the persistent problems of slips, trips, and falls, I’m sure you’ve seen similar statistics over and again – they don’t seem to change much. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 223,700 cases involving falls, slips, trips in 2012. But how many more went unreported? Off the record, numerous corporate Safety pros reveal these are among the most underreported incidents. And what about those slip or trip injuries that are coded differently because they result in strains and sprains or are “bodily reaction” (basically a slip/trip/balance issue that didn’t result in impact)?

Further, no surprise, this issue affects companies wherever people walk, worldwide. For example, Great Britain’s Health & Safety Executive reported that in 2013-14, falls and slips & trips accounted for over a third (35 percent) of all employee injuries.

Standard responses to these persistent problems are good and all and have undoubtedly managed to keep slips/trips/falls from becoming worse. But even with best mats/signs/flooring/reminders and footwear, the level of these injuries has still clearly been holding steady at a dull roar. And, regrettably, there are some convinced nothing else could be done, that these injuries are inevitable and ultimately unpreventable. In counterpoint, strongest leaders know that all problems have solutions, even if they haven’t yet discovered them.

Consider another approach: placing people more in control of their own safety by transferring to them the right mental and physical skills. This has shown to consistently prevent slips/trips/falls; it begins, as many things do, with attention.

Performance psychologist Robert Nideffer sees attention as having two dimensions: width and direction. Width means its field – what you see and/or hear or smell or feel – can be narrow or wide. Direction refers to where you focus, either internally (thoughts, recalling procedures, dwelling on nagging pain in part of body, etc.) or externally (objects strewn on the ground ahead and more). We may be too narrowly focused to see that we could have walked around that slippery area or trying to be so externally aware that we didn’t notice we were holding our breath (raising tension and sapping balance) when traversing an at-risk surface. I’ve found that a high-level ability to prevent slips, trips, and falls relies on being able to combine and shift between attentional fields, appropriately scanning for surface changes or obstacles with a wide/external view, then zooming in with a narrow external view – to note, for example, how elevator floor and threshold are at slightly different heights – while maintaining a wide/internal sense of balance.

Regrettably, I can’t transfer personal techniques for preventing slips/trips/falls in writing (or video) any more than can I try to help you experience the taste of a spice you’ve not yet tried. However, rest assured it’s readily possible to help all kinds of workers of all ages learn how to better keep their balance while on the move and significantly reduce injuries from slips, trips and falls. But this has to emanate from leaders opening their mental vistas to provide for workers’ learning the right skills for becoming more in mental and physical control of their own safety. Ultimately, real attention to highest-level Safety begins with leaders

The Nano-Grip floor safety system of nonslip treatment and aftercare relieves the brain of  the complications which arise from encountering a slippery surface while traversing an otherwise safe surface. One simple application renders mineral floors such as tile and marble less slippery wet than dry. For a referral to a local Nano-Grip applicator to have your facility evaluated call 855-687-0976 .images

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Fall Accidents and the Liability of Property Owners

The following article was written by attorney Rodney Mesriani of the Mesrani Law Group a personal injury law firm advertising on the internet. It underscores the responsibility that business owners bear when it comes to maintaining their property in a way that makes it safe for the public. When Nano-Grip is applied to a walking surface that surface will be brought into compliance with industry and government guidelines for nonslip safety. In fact, a Nano-Grip treated surface is actually safer wet than dry! For a no cost evaluation of the walking surfaces in your business or home call 855-687-0976 to be referred to an independent Nano-Grip applicator.

Fall Accidents and the Liability of Property Owners

In a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), slip and fall accident is the leading cause of injuries and deaths among young children in the US.  According to the organization, 3,420 out of 100,000 children sustain nonfatal injuries caused by falls while more than 12,000 die every year because of these unintentional accidents.

Legal Ramifications

Since most cases of slip, trip, and fall accidents are caused by negligent individuals, victims can file a personal injury lawsuit against anyone who has been reckless and careless with his or her actions.

To recover personal injury claims, the injured victims should prove certain things such as:

  • The defendant created the dangerous condition.
  • The defendant was fully aware of the dangerous condition but did not do anything to correct it.
  • The condition should be obvious or existed for such a length of time that any reasonable person could have known it.

Commercial Property Owners

Stores, restaurants, malls, buildings, and other business establishments are legally bound to provide safety to its customers or to other people by making sure that the premises are free from any hazard.

According to lawyers, slip and fall victims can easily prove the owners’ negligence by showing that the latter have violated a law.  For example, there is a statute that requires building and establishment owners to install handrails and other similar features.  If a person has slipped because the building lacks handrails on the stairs, it is clear that the premise owner has violated the building code.

In personal injury claims which involve commercial property, the injured victims may sometimes file a case against more than one entity.  For instance, a landlord rents space to a

business establishment where a customer has been injured.  In some situations, the landlord and the tenant can be named as defendants.

When a person has encountered a slip and fall accident inside a local, state, or federal building, filing for a personal injury claim may be harder since government entities have “immunity” from lawsuits and liabilities which means that it cannot be easily sued without its permission.

Who Caused The Accident?

The causes of slip and fall accidents are varied, and can arise from temporary or permanent conditions, both inside and outside buildings and on land. It is important to remember that it is the owner or other person responsible for the property who should ensure that it is not in a dangerous condition. Sometimes the cause of the accident can be fleeting (spilled liquid) or permanent (a broken concrete slab on the sidewalk). However, in some cases the person who is injured may be partially or even totally to blame for the slip and fall accident. This may be because of intoxication, carelessness, failure to pay attention or perhaps even being pushed.

When a plaintiff is seeking to establish the cause of the slip and fall accident, their attorney will often employ the services of an expert who will look at all the external factors and the circumstances of the accident.

Inside A Building

Common causes of slip and fall accidents within a building can be:

A wet or slippery floor; flooring which appears normal but has a slippery texture; a sudden dip or rise in the floor level, torn carpets or cracks or holes in the floor. Stairs can also pose significant risks if they have uneven surfaces, dirt or trash on them or have broken handrails. Similarly, exposed cables and not providing sufficient levels of lighting are also common causes of indoor accidents.

Negligence can also be established if a responsible person failed to put adequate warnings around a hazard e.g. to warn that a floor is being polished, or to point out steps, uneven floor surfaces, or low ceilings, or put a foreign object on the floor surface that someone trips over. Escalators and elevators are also common causes of slip and fall injuries, such as if the mechanism stops suddenly or causes jerks in movement. In certain circumstances, the plaintiff can prove the negligence of the defendant by demonstrating that the landowner or other responsible party violated a statute, e.g. a building code.

Outside
Slip and fall accidents can also happen outside buildings. Common causes are cracks in paving stones, sudden dips or rises in ground height, potholes, ice, curbs and hazards in parking lots etc. Appropriate warnings should be given to emphasize increased risk around hazards.
Whatever the cause of the slip and fall accident, it is important that you ensure that you obtain as much evidence of the circumstances as possible. The two most important ways to assist your claim are to seek medical attention and to speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.