What are some common causes of fall injuries?

Published August 10, 2018 by Christina Catedrilla

Falls are, without a doubt, the most common kind of injury-causing accident in the United States today. Millions of people sustain injuries from falling each year. Most accidental falls occur when an individual is walking, running, or otherwise moving. Such movement may also aggravate the injuries by adding the body’s movement speed to the natural force of falling. Additionally, the body’s own natural mechanisms for trying to mitigate by fall by turning and/or twisting can further pull tendons or muscles, thereby causing even move injuries in addition to the impact of the fall itself.

There are multiple types of accidents which may result in a fall injury, including:

  • Step and fall accidents, where a person’s foot encounters an unexpected hole or other failure in the walkway surface;
  • Stump and fall accidents, where a person’s foot encounters a dangerous condition in the walkway surface, whether it is a sticky area of the surface or some other condition that impedes the movement of the foot;
  • Trip and fall accidents, where a person’s foot encounters a foreign object in the walkway;
  • Slip and fall accidents, where the traction of the surface is affected and the person’s foot makes contact with the floor but fails to support the person’s center of gravity.

By far, a slip and fall accident is the most common type of fall. During such incidents, a person’s foot breaks contact with the floor, and the person tries to maintain balance. However, recovering balance is reflexive and not under a person’s conscious control. If the individual hits a rigid surface with a fleshy body part, then the injuries will probably be minimal. If the person strikes a hard, bony part, the injuries are likely to be more severe.

There are many potential causes for a person to slip, such as slippery walkway surfaces due to the presence of liquids. Fall injuries may also result from foreign objects such as cardboard or plastic in the walkway. Certain waxes that are not compatible with a floor material may also cause an unreasonably slippery surface.

Commercial establishments are also prone to conditions that may cause falls. For example, stores may have items such as clothing that fall to the floor and cause unexpected dangers. Stockroom clerks may leave store inventory in aisles causing customers to trip and fall over boxes or other items. Outside the establishments, sidewalks and parking lots may have uneven or broken surfaces, thereby causing falls regularly. Poor illumination may compound the dangers listed above.

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