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  4.  » Falls: When an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

Falls: When an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

Falls are one of the most common causes of serious injury and death across the United States. Whether the fall occurred at home or at work, this accident can result in life-changing injuries, especially for older Illinois residents.

A fall can happen after slipping, tripping or toppling from a place higher than the floor. The National Safety Council has deemed it a significant enough safety issue that the organization is focusing on falls during the third week of June as part of its annual National Safety Month public awareness campaign.

Taking the steps to prevent a fall may avert a great deal of future suffering, cautions the Mayo Clinic. The following tips can help people both in the workplace and at home reduce the chances of a serious fall:

  • Use ladders, scaffolding and other equipment properly, and never climb onto a desk or rolling chair to get items out of reach.
  • Keep walking areas clear of cords and clutter that may be tripped over.
  • Ensure mats are flat on the floor and not folded or turned up, and promptly clean up spills or place signs warning of wet surfaces.
  • Put sand, cat litter or a de-icing agent on icy or slippery walkways outside.
  • Use handrails and other safety features that are provided to avoid slipping on ramps and stairs.

Not all falls can be prevented, unfortunately. Those who slip or trip may lessen a potentially serious injury by controlling their fall. Falling forward or backward, rather than to the side where a hip may be broken, are safer ways to control a fall. It may also help to grab a chair, table or handrail on the way down to minimize impact.

If a fall occurs on public property, injured parties may be eligible for compensation if the property owner was negligent in keeping up safety measures. To learn more about this topic, check out this room-by-room guide to making a property safer. 

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