Slips and Falls in Stores and Malls: Implications for Community-Based Injury Prevention

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An empirical analysis of the behavioral ecology of slip, trip, and fall accidents in grocery stores and shopping malls is presented. The store data set comprised 36 consecutive months of data collected from a chain of grocery stores in the Midwestern USA and the mall data set included 24 consecutive months of data collected from 22 malls across the continental USA, with a concentration in the southern region. Analyses showed that the majority of the slip, trip and fall accidents occurred on the inside of the establishments, on the same level, and resulted from a water or liquid spill or food item on the floor. Design deficiencies accounted for the least amount of occurrences and cost of the accidents, while housekeeping and inspection deficiencies accounted for the bulk of the accidents. Data-based recommendations for slip, trip and fall injury-prevention strategies in these public places, focusing on management action, are offered.



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