Fall prevention is more important than ever

  • With the amount of money spent on medical care and lost wages for same-level fall injuries in 2011, you could have bought the five most expensive professional baseball teams* and still had more than $400 million left over.
  • Slips, trips and falls will become more of an issue in the coming decades
    • The workforce is aging
    • The patient population is aging
    • Workers and patients share the same environment of care
  • Falls don't prevent themselves.  We know how to prevent slips, trips, falls and the injuries that they cause.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) distilled some best practices in fall prevention for healthcare workers into the following document. Click on it to download.

This video shares some data on why slip, trip and fall injuries should be prevented.

Why do you think slips, trips and falls happen so often in the healthcare sector?

In addition to the NIOSH document that advises healthcare organizations on controlling environmental hazards, here are some evidence-based activities that prevent falls among older adults by improving their balance and strength:

  • Tai Chi
  • Balance Classes
  • Leg Strengthening Exercises
  • Ballroom Dancing

These activities can be offered through on-site worksite wellness programs or subsidized (in whole or in part) by employers.  As with many wellness activities, getting people to show up may be a challenge.  Developing "social marketing" materials that speak to older workers may be one way to increase participation among older employees.