Occupational slip, trip, and fall-related injuries--can the contribution of slipperiness be isolated?

Ergonomics. 2001 Oct 20;44(13):1118-37. doi: 10.1080/00140130110085538.


To determine if the contribution of slipperiness to occupational slip, trip and fall (STF)-related injuries could be isolated from injury surveillance systems in the USA, the UK and Sweden, six governmental systems and one industrial system were consulted. The systems varied in their capture approaches and the degree of documentation of exposure to slipping. The burden of STF-related occupational injury ranged from 20 to 40% of disabling occupational injuries in the developed countries studied. The annual direct cost of fall-related occupational injuries in the USA alone was estimated to be approximately US$6 billion. Slipperiness or slipping were found to contribute to between 40 and 50% of fall-related injuries. Slipperiness was more often a factor in same level falls than in falls to lower levels. The evaluation of the burden of slipperiness was hampered by design limitations in many of the data systems utilized. The resolution of large-scale injury registries should be improved by collecting more detailed incident sequence information to better define the full scope and contribution of slipperiness to occupational STF-related injuries. Such improvements would facilitate the allocation of prevention resources towards reduction of first-event risk factors such as slipping.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control
  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data*
  • Accidents, Occupational / prevention & control
  • Accidents, Occupational / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Causality
  • Data Collection / methods
  • Disabled Persons / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Registries / statistics & numerical data
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control