June is National Safety Month
Each June, the National Safety Council encourages organizations to get involved and participate in National Safety Month. This month, the Council is advoating for the prevention of slips, trips, and falls. According to the National Safety Counsel, falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the United States, accounting for approximately 8.6 million visits to the emergency department. Adults 55 and older are more prone to becoming victims of falls, and the resulting injuries can diminish the ability to lead active, independent lives. The number of fall deaths among those 65 or older is 4 times the number of fall deaths among all other age groups.
Here are some fall-proofing tips for work and home:
• Clean up all spills immediately
• Stay off freshly mopped floors
• Secure electrical and phone cords out of traffic areas
• Remove small throw rugs or use non-skid mats
• Keep frequently used items in easily reachable areas
• Wear shoes with good support and slip- resistant soles
• Arrange furniture to provide open walking pathways
• Keep drawers and cabinet doors closed at all times
• Remove tripping hazards (paper, boxes, books, clothes, toys, shoes) from stairs and walkways
• Install handrails on all staircases on both sides
• If you have young children, install gates at the top and bottom of stairs (unlatch the gate to pass – don’t climb over them)
• Ensure adequate lighting both indoors and outdoors
• Remove debris from exterior walkways
• Adjust gutter downspouts to drive water away from pathways
• Periodically check the condition of walkways and steps, and repair damages immediately
• Never stand on a chair, table or other surface on wheels
In addition to these tips, it’s always important that you:
• Exercise, such as brisk walking, tai chi and yoga, helps reduce falls by improving strength and balance. Stay hydrated while exercising and consult with your physician before starting an exercise program.
• Some medicines, combination of medicines or other combinations (sun, alcohol, etc.) can make you drowsy or light-headed, which can lead to a fall. Have a doctor or pharmacist review all of your medications.
• Have your vision checked regularly by an eye doctor. Poor vision can greatly increase your chance of falling.
• Regularly take measures to identify and eliminate fall hazards at work and home.
• Pay attention to where you are going. Distractions can lead to a slip, trip or fall due to a step, crack or hole in the ground.
• Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Falls can happen in any location, even in familiar areas.
• Report all workplace slips, trips and falls, even if minor, and all potential hazards.
As Seattle slip and fall attorneys, we strive to keep those in our community safe from preventable accidents. By following the tips of the National Safety Council, we hope that our readers can prevent injuries and, possibly, death.
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