Whether on a wet floor, carpeted floor, on sidewalks, in a parking lot, from a ladder or step stool, falls cause for slips, trips and falls are numerous. These types of injuries make up a large portion of the injuries from sprains and strains, bruises, cuts and fatality in the worst case scenario.


Slips on wet surfaces for example, are caused by too little traction (or friction) between the foot and the surface being walked on. Other causes of slips include but are not limited to:

  • Icy sidewalks and parking lots
  • Oily surfaces
  • Slick vehicle steps
  • Loose rugs or mats


Trips take place when the foot comes into contact with another object, such as torn carpet, for example. Other causes of trips include:

  • Poor lighting
  • Obstructed view
  • Uncovered cords, cables
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Distracted attention
  • Aging and wrinkled carpets
  • Stairways

Falls to Lower Level

Falls to a lower level can take place when either a slip or a trip are seen and results in a fall to a lower level, even less than a few feet. These falls are caused by things such as:

  • Falling from a ladder/step ladder
  • Fall from a vehicle or vehicle step
  • Fall from a loading docks
  • Fall on stairways

Falls to Same Level

Falls to the same level can results from a slip or trip. Falls such as these can be caused by any of the above mentioned issues. Other causes might include:

  • Distracted attention such as talking or texting on a cell phone

Slips, trips and falls also take place in the home. Bottom drawers left open, children’s toys not picked up, slick surfaces in on the sidewalk or driveway, poorly lit areas, etc. can call lead to a slip, trip or fall. It is important to be aware of surroundings in order to help prevent slips, trips and falls. Keep the below things in mind at all times.

  • Ensure good housekeeping
    • Clean up spills quickly
    • Mark spills with signage
    • Ensure obstacles are removed
    • Fix, replace or repair torn, worn or aging carpet
    • Communicate with others if there is a known slip, trip, fall hazard
    • Keep lighting within ideal ranges
  • Flooring
    • Replace or recoat damaged flooring
    • Install mats
    • Install pressure-sensitive abrasive strips
    • Abrasive-filled paint-on coating
  • Footwear
    • Wear properly fitting shoes
    • Wear shoes appropriate for the environment
      • ie: avoid high heels in winter
    • Tie shoelaces
  • Pace
    • Wipe your feet before entering a building
    • Adjust your stride to the task
    • Pay attention

Slips, Trips and Falls Training

Contact CSU Ergonomics
(970) 491-2724