Beware the Slippery Slope: Slips, Trips, and Falls in Healthcare Facilities

Apr 7, 2016 2:30 PM ET

Hospitals are safe places to work - right? Well, maybe not. 

US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2014 (the most recent year published) show that total recordable case rate for hospitals (injury and illness cases per 100 full-time workers) is 6.2. The hospital injury rate is higher than in mining (3.8), hazardous waste treatment and disposal (4.6), and manufacturing (4.0). Now that should set off an alarm for health and safety professionals.

When it comes to employee and patient safety in hospitals, you might expect the most common injuries to be needle sticks or back injuries. Hospital risk managers and safety directors know all too well that the most frequent causes of injury for healthcare workers are overexertion and lifting injuries, largely from moving patients. 

Surprisingly, though, the second highest cause of injury in hospitals is from slips, trips and falls (STF). In the United States, STF by hospital employees account for 25% of injuries; in the United Kingdom, SFTs account for almost half of the workplace injuries in healthcare. These STFs can, at minimum, result in a decrease in the healthcare worker’s ability to do his or her job effectively, but all too often can also result in lost time or even disability for the worker. This all then leads to increased costs for the healthcare provider.

Read more about STF hazards and tactics to avoid them at the Antea Group blog.

About Antea Group

Antea Group is an international engineering and environmental consulting firm specializing in full-service solutions in the fields of environment, infrastructure, urban planning and water. By combining strategic thinking and multidisciplinary perspectives with technical expertise and pragmatic action, we do more than effectively solve client challenges; we deliver sustainable results for a better future. With more than 3,000 employees in over 100 offices around the world, we serve clients ranging from global energy companies and manufacturers to national governments and local municipalities. Learn more at


Katie Nordenson