Watch your step, wear good shoes, take your time and all will be fine.
The weather turns icy, and the store shelves are bare of gallon water bottles and wonderbread. It seems a fitting moment to discuss fall down prevention. Make no mistake, this fall prevention program can and should be practiced at all times of the year. But now is when you’ll read it.
Fall Down Prevention: 3 Steps to Success
- Watch Where You’re GoingKnowing your environment is crucial when it comes to fall down prevention. It’s widely known that fall prevention in nursing homes and fall prevention in hospitals are a big concern, and much attention is taken to ensure that no obstacles can cause slip trip and falls in these environments. However, less thought is usually put into whether or not a co-worker left a box of paper scraps in the middle of the conference room floor.Most people tend to be more aware of their surroundings when they are unfamiliar with them, they watch their step and scan for possible problem spots. This is mostly done on a subconscious level. That’s why it’s extremely important to begin watching your step–intentionally-in familiar environments. Sure, you’ve run up and down those stairs a hundred times. It’s always the hundred and first time, just when your muscle memory kicks in and you could do it with your eyes closed, that a tiny someone leaves a Lego toy on the step.
- Wear Proper FootwearAnyone who has already been involved in a slip trip and fall could tell you that the first step to fall down prevention–as eagerly quoted to them by some liability attorney–is to wear proper footwear. That phrase is a bit unpleasant, because it implies that somehow everything that doesn’t have a three-inch-thick sole with tread you could find on snow tires isn’t proper.That’s not what it means. Proper footwear is footwear that is appropriate to the situation/weather you are in. Flipflops on a sunny August day are not improper. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the number one way to practice effective fall down prevention is to wear footwear with good tread on it. Consider it an investment in your health plan; one less joint to twist and complain at you in the years to come.
- Don’t Rush ItWe often teach this concept in Driver’s Ed–plan in an extra ten minutes to get to work/school/that party. It’s a common sense concept that most young drivers choose to absolutely ignore. What if we applied this same concept to our travels on foot? At this time of year, it’s no secret that getting from point A to point B means either taking small, ginger steps across the slush-covered ice, or doing a series of cartoon-style wobbles and flails as you slip and slide your way to your destination. The first option is the more difficult one, in the eyes of a fast-paced generation, despite the fact that it is far more effective when it comes to you arriving at Point B with all your joints and limbs in the places they are supposed to be.Take an extra five to ten minutes. Don’t just take it and mentally throw it away, as you baby-step along the ground. Take that time to observe, breathe, and enjoy the journey. It might just save you a twisted ankle and bruised bone.
These are some of the best practices you can make to stay upright and moving. Don’t underestimate the frequency and ease with which a slip trip and fall can occur. In fact, OSHA cites that slips, trips, and falls constitute the majority of general industry accidents–15%!
Be safe out there. Your life is in your hands (and feet!).
fall down prevention | prevent fall downs