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Safeguard ORs Against Slip, Trip and Fall Hazards
Address the physical environment and staff behavior to mitigate risks and remove as many obstacles as possible.
Laurie Wolf, PhD, CPE, ASQ-CSSBB
Publish Date: October 19, 2022   |  Tags:   Staff Safety
NEST OF DANGER If this image resembles a similar scene on the floors of any of your ORs, your perioperative team is at heightened risk for injury.   |   Kathy Beydler

Surgery is currently dominated by two forms of turnover: The turnover of breaking down and setting up for the next case and that of OR personnel jumping ship or retiring. This combination of fast-paced scheduling and increasingly transient staff working in unfamiliar ORs run increases the likelihood a surgical team member will slip, trip or fall.

The injuries that result from these incidents involve upper and lower extremities and can range from sprains and strains to dislocations and tears. Obviously, no facility wants one of these injuries to occur, but far too many surgical leaders relegate their prevention efforts to an annual training session, which simply isn’t enough. The job of keeping your OR staff upright and injury-free is both multifactorial in nature and never-ending in practice. It requires you to account for environmental components, human aspects, room design and layout, technology and equipment as well as a variety of organizational factors to ultimately determine how to best prevent slip, trip and fall risks.

To guide your efforts, employ the following intervention hierarchy, ranked in descending order in terms of effectiveness:

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