The Medical Minute

June 16, 2022

By: Deborah Greubel, DNP, APRN-CNP
MBU chief health officer 

June is National Safety Month. Injuries resulting from slips, trips, and falls are more common than we might imagine. As a matter of fact, slips, trips, and falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death in the United States. Even the smallest fall can lead to musculoskeletal injuries and disorders. 

Despite workplace injuries having declined by 75% since 1972, about 2.3 million people worldwide have work-related accidents every year. In 2020–21 there were more than 470,000 workers in the U.S. who suffered from a work-related musculoskeletal disorder.This type of injury accounts for over 28% of all work-related ill health. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, many of the musculoskeletal disorder cases in the 2018 private sector occurred in healthcare and social assistance. And, a lot of these injuries were related to slips, trips, and falls.

Here are the 10 most common injuries sustained from slips, trips, and falls:

  • Broken bones
  • Neck injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Concussions
  • Other forms of traumatic brain injury
  • Severe cuts and lacerations
  • Knee and ankle injuries
  • Shoulder, elbow, and wrist injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Chronic pain

So, let’s make workplace and home safety a top priority because falls are preventable. How do we do this?

  • Determine what safety equipment is needed and be properly trained on how to use it.
  • Look for potential hazards before starting any job.
  • Keep the work area clear of hazards, and immediately clean up any spills.
  • Don’t wear loose clothing that can get caught in equipment.
  • Fall-proof your home:
    • Keep floors and surfaces clear of clutter
    • Keep electrical and phone cords out of traffic areas
    • Use handrails on stairways
    • Wear sensible footwear
    • Maintain good lighting indoors and out 

Take a look at these resources for more information:  

To read previous editions of the Medical Minute, please visit the MBU Wellness site.