269006 Slipping as an upstream measure of outcome for fall-related injury research

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 9:10 AM - 9:30 AM

Theodore K. Courtney, MS, CSP , Center for Injury Epidemiology, Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, Hopkinton, MA
Santosh K. Verma, ScD, MPH, MBBS , Center for Injury Epidemiology, Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, Hopkinton, MA
Yueng-hsiang (Emily) Huang, PhD , Center for Behavioral Research, Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, Hopkinton, MA
Wen R. Chang, PhD , Center for Physcial Ergonomics, Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, Hopkinton, MA
Kai-way Li, PhD , Department of Industrial Engineering and System Management, Chung-hua University, Hsin-Chu, Taiwan
Alfred Filiaggi , Loss Control Advisory Services, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Warrenville, IL
Introduction: Falls are responsible for a substantial injury burden globally at work. A major challenge to the study falls in active work environments is the rarity of the outcome. Slipping is an important precursor to falling and subsequent injury. We applied epidemiologic methods to study individual and work environment factors related to slipping. Method: Ten limited service restaurants in the Northeastern US were recruited to participate. Workers' slip and/or fall history within the prior 4 weeks was collected along with age, gender, job tenure, weekly work hours, and shift. Shoe type, condition, and gross shoe contamination were visually assessed. Floor coefficient of friction was measured. The logistic generalized estimating equations model was used to compute adjusted odds ratios.

Results: One hundred twenty-six workers(60% female, mean age 30) participated. Multivariable logistic regression showed that higher restaurant mean coefficient of friction (COF) was significantly associated with decreased risk of self-reported slipping in the prior 4 weeks (Odds Ratio 0.59, 95% CI 0.42-0.82). From the highest to the lowest COF restaurant, the odds of slipping increased more than seven times. Younger workers, males, shorter work hours and the gross shoe contamination were also positively associated with slipping.

Conclusion: This study demonstrated that the prevalence of slipping among limited service restaurant workers was sufficiently frequent to allow the application of epidemiologic methods to assess the relative contributions of the observed exposures. Using self-reported slipping as an upstream measure of outcome may make assessment of risk factors and potential interventions for STF-related injuries more feasible.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Discuss how slipping can be used as an upstream outcome measure to assess risk factors for fall related injuries. Assess potential applications of slipping as an outcome measure.

Keywords: Epidemiology, Injuries

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been principal or co-principal investigator of multiple published epidemiologic studies of slips, trips and falls. My published research in STF has received the William Floyd Medal from the Ergonomics Society (2003) and the NORA Partnering Award (2006)from the CDC.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.