Graduation Year

2003

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.S.P.H.

Degree Granting Department

Public Health

Major Professor

M.D., Stuart M. Brooks

Keywords

occupational, injury, safety, accidents, healthcare

Abstract

Occupational slip, trip, and fall, (STF), incidents are a significant cause of traumatic occupational injuries and has been identified as NORA priority area. Objective: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in collaboration with Liberty Mutual Research Center for Safety and Health, the Finnish Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and BJC Health System is conducting a 3 year study titled "Slip and Falls Prevention in Health Care Workers". A key component of the overall study is the descriptive analysis of 72 months (1996-2001) of STF incidents. Setting: This analysis encompasses data from the James A. Haley Veteran's Administration Medical Center, (JAH). Results: Forty- five months of historical STF data from the ASISTS database was analyzed.

Of 279 STF incidents, 71.22%, (240) were female, the median age was 49 years, RN's were the most common occupational category (70 =21.74%), trips were the most common type of incident, (105 = 33.44%), the parking lot was the most common location, (75 = 23.70%), Non- specified slick surfaces (56 = 17.83%) and non- patient related objects were the most common cause (56 =17.83%), 70.85%, (192) returned to full duty, and 83.67%, (246) had no lost work time. Wilcoxon Ranked Sum test comparing those with affected work time found no significant difference in age (p= 0.4133). Analysis could not be performed using exact number of lost work days and days on light duty because of discrepancies between the ASISTS and Safety Office alternative databases. Conclusion: Efforts and resources to decrease the number of STF incidents at the JAH would be best concentrated in the following areas: Occupations, locations, and causes associated with the highest frequencies of STF incidents.

Proposed improvements in the method of data collection include: Identify what STF questions want to be answered. Decide what data is required to answer the question. Design a data collection system around this. Strive for a more integrated approach; encourage employee reporting; altering VA form 2162. Given the downward trend in the three year analysis of STF incidents, caution should be used in analyzing the results of a pre and post intervention study.

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