Friday, December 13, 2013

Reducing slips, trips and falls

Alarmed by the number of reported falls by employees during 2011 and 2012, a committee of MGH managers and employees was formed last summer to discuss ways to make the hospital safer and eliminate preventable slips, trips and falls.

“In each of the last two years, we recorded more than 300 employee falls,” says Andrew Gottlieb, NP, director of MGH Occupational Health. “A majority of these falls were preventable and may not have occurred if it weren’t for wet floors or misplaced electrical cords. We need to work together as a hospital community to help reduce these hazards.”

The committee’s work has resulted in several precautionary measures. Umbrella bags are now located inside entrances of the main campus buildings. These bags are meant to prevent wet umbrella water from creating a hazard on hallway floors. In addition, cord covers have been placed in operating rooms to prevent staff from tangling with or tripping on cords as they move around their patients.

The committee has a number of other efforts in the works but preventing slips, trips and falls is everyone’s responsibility, says Gottlieb. For that reason, the committee is seeking input from employees to pinpoint ways to further reduce falls in 2014.

Has your team or department taken action to reduce preventable slips, trips and falls? If so, email and explain what problem was addressed, what action was taken and any evidence that the idea is working. The committee will select the top three submissions and award these individuals and/or teams for their efforts.

Read more articles from the 12/13/13 Hotline issue.


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