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Slip, Trip and Fall

A slip occurs when an individual loses traction between his or her foot and the surface on which is being traversed. When the individual falls as a result of this loss of traction, a slip and fall incident has occurred. The slip resistance between a walking surface and an individual’s foot is dependent upon several parameters:

  • The floor material and finish
  • An individual’s shoe material and texture
  • Environmental surface contaminants
  • Pedestrian gait dynamics

If an individual encounters a slippery surface (or lower slip resistance) while making a downward step, it is likely that the introduction of the slippery surface would be unexpected. This sudden decrease in slip resistance may initiate a slip and fall accident. The analysis of a slip and fall incident may include any of the following:

  • Assessing the frictional properties between walking surface and shoe material.
  • Assessing the difference in slip resistance between adjacent walking surfaces.
  • Analysis of an individual’s walking pattern.
  • Testing of the floor material in accordance with applicable standards.
  • Assessing the conformity of existing floor material slip resistance, floor/stair construction, or handrails, with applicable codes and standards.