Clinical Corner: How Healthcare Workers Can Prevent Slips, Trips, and Falls

Clinical Corner

By Lalah Landers BSN, RN Clinical Nurse Manager

A slip, trip, or fall while you’re on the job can often cause or lead to serious injury. Aside from the obvious cost of personal physical pain, such disabling injuries can also be detrimental in terms of a healthcare employee’s ability to do his or her job. This can lead to:

  • Missed hours and/or days on the job
  • Lower productivity
  • Expensive and/or diminished worker compensation claims
  • Worsened patient care

According to the CDC, “Slips, trips, and falls are the second most common cause of lost workday injuries in hospitals.”

In 2009 the U.S. Bureau of labor Statistics reported that the frequency of of lost workday injuries resulting from slips, trips, and falls in hospitals was 38.2 per 10,000 employees. At that rate the occurrence is 90% higher than the average rate for all other private industries combined. That’s a major jump!

So, what can you do help prevent slip, trip, and fall injuries and all of their related negative consequences?

  • Report and clean up spills immediately.
  • Keep a clean, orderly, sanitary work area.
  • Wear sturdy shoes with nonskid soles, especially in inclement weather like rain, and ice.
  • Keep halls, patient rooms, and stairs free of clutter and obstructions.
  • Watch for tripping hazards at nursing stations, in patient rooms, at computer, and in the OR. Watch for cords, tubing on the floor, multiple chairs, and cords stretched across pathways where you walk.
  • Nursing station counter tops or medication cards should be free of sharp, square corners.
  • Watch for indoor and outdoor irregular flooring surfaces. Watch for uneven sidewalk or floor tiles outside or in parking garages.
  • Make sure steps outside are free of ice and snow, and use handrails for support.

Should you as a Traveler, have a slip, trip or fall, you MUST notify Medical Solutions within 24 hours of the incident. 

You should also notify your hospital if you have a slip, trip or fall, and seek medical attention if necessary.

Plus, you’ll want to notify the nurse manager or supervisor if you notice any safety concerns that need to be addressed.

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