Here’s a subject that’s sure to catch some attention. According to biomechanics researchers Timothy Higham of Clemson University and Andrew Clark of the College of Charleston, moving quickly with a firm-footed stance is a more effective way to walk on a slippery floor than shuffling or moving slowly.
The researchers explain that a slow approach to a slippery surface can prevent moving the body’s center of mass forward when the foot comes in contact with the surface, which is necessary to remain stable.
“The findings can be useful in helping humans, especially older ones, make their way across surfaces that are wet, icy or oily,” said Higham. “The key to avoiding slips seems to be speed and keeping the body mass forward, slightly ahead of the ankles after the foot contacts the ground.”
Why is it important to prevent slips and other similar causes of accidents?
An injury from slipping can be dangerous and even deadly. In fact, slipping is one of the most common causes of injury in the United States, where close to 9 million hospitalizations occur each year due to a slip and fall. In American workplaces, such an injury can lead to many physical, emotional, and financial challenges for everyone involved. Thus, its minimization, if not complete elimination, is always a major concern for employers.
To maintain safe conditions for everyone in the workplace, you need to teach your employees how to obey the safety rules of the job and help them understand that it is for their own protection. Make sure they understand their safety responsibilities, and encourage them to report any safety hazards or violations. This can be achieved with the implementation of an effective occupational medicine wellness program.
Hands-on learning works best
Studies reveal that hands-on safety training is more effective than a verbal discussion or the dissemination of written materials. When employees are trained interactively, they retain information better, which ultimately results in lower incidence of accidents, injuries, and illnesses.
What to do in case of a workplace accident
In the event of a slip and fall injury at your workplace that is beyond your in-house medical provider’s ability to treat, take the patient immediately to an occupational medicine clinic such as U.S. HealthWorks.
(Researchers: Walk Quickly, Don’t Shuffle, on Slippery Surfaces, EHSToday.com)
(Work Safe: An Employer’s Guide to Safety and Health in a Diversified Workforce, ELCOSH.org)