Approximately a third of all injuries reported happen in the home, and they tend to hit small children and elderly adults the most. Falls are the number one cause of home injuries and death in the US. The two groups most at risk for falls are children younger than 5 and adults over the age of 70.
Below are some tips to prevent falls at home:
- Make the bathroom a no-slip zone. Install grab bars and non-slip mats in the tub or shower. Use a bathmat with a nonskid bottom and clean up any water that splashes on the floor right away.
- Safety proof stairs. Remove clutter from stairs and walkways. Stairs inside and out should have handrails and have good lighting over stairs.
- Toss the throw rugs. Throw rugs are big tripping hazards for young and old people. At the very least tape or tack them to the floor.
- Leave a light on. Ideally have nightlights in the bedrooms, bathrooms and halls.
- Make windows safe. New York City cut children’s deaths from window related falls by a third after requiring window guards. Window screens are not strong enough to prevent falls. Install window guards with quick-release mechanisms (in case of fire) on upper floor windows. Keep furniture away from windows, especially in children’s room, and always watch children around windows.
- Talk with your family about safe ladder use just as you would at work.
- Proper set up
- Stable ground
- Do not over extend the ladder
- Do not step on the top two steps of a step ladder
- Do not set ladder up next to overhead power lines
It is important to BMWC that our co-workers and their families remain safe and healthy at home as well as at work. If your injured at home we and your family lose a very valuable resource.