Safety Leadership: Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk
Safety Culture Improvement

A Whoops and a FOOSH: Preventing Slips, Trips & Falls

Greg LaRochelle 2014 Posted by Greg LaRochelle

It is in that “whoops” moment, when we lose the battle of upright balance to gravity, that we can sustain a FOOSH (fall on an outstretched hand) injury from reflexively trying to brace ourselves as we plummet to the ground.   With our feet out from underneath us, the impact of landing hard commonly results in a wrist fracture (distal end of the radius) with swelling, pain, and loss of wrist motion. The swelling and displacement of the radius can also lead to an acute form of carpal tunnel syndrome from compression on the median nerve.

With this winter only half over, the potential for a slip and fall incident remains high, particularly as daytime temperatures moderate and a refreeze occurs over the evening and nighttime.  Vigilance to adequate maintenance of outdoor walking and working surfaces, selection of proper footwear offering good traction, and modification of one’s pattern of movement or gait are of paramount importance in avoiding a FOOSH.

MEMIC policyholders have access to slip and fall prevention resources in MEMIC's Safety Director, including a Webinar-on-Demand, PowerPoint presentation, and a one-page A MEMIC Minute handout.   Additionally, MEMIC policyholders can explore the free video lending library,  which features both a DVD and streaming video on slips, trips, and falls. 

Employers take action and educate employees on the seriousness of taking proper precautions to prevent a slip and fall injury.   Let them know you’re not “fooshing” around.  

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