State of science: occupational slips, trips and falls on the same level*

Wen Ruey Chang, Sylvie Leclercq, Thurmon Lockhart, Roger Haslam

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


Occupational slips, trips and falls on the same level (STFL) result in substantial injuries worldwide. This paper summarises the state of science regarding STFL, outlining relevant aspects of epidemiology, biomechanics, psychophysics, tribology, organisational influences and injury prevention. This review reaffirms that STFL remain a major cause of workplace injury and STFL prevention is a complex problem, requiring multi-disciplinary, multi-faceted approaches. Despite progress in recent decades in understanding the mechanisms involved in STFL, especially slipping, research leading to evidence-based prevention practices remains insufficient, given the problem scale. It is concluded that there is a pressing need to develop better fall prevention strategies using systems approaches conceptualising and addressing the factors involved in STFL, with considerations of the full range of factors and their interactions. There is also an urgent need for field trials of various fall prevention strategies to assess the effectiveness of different intervention components and their interactions. Practitioner Summary: Work-related slipping, tripping and falls on the same level are a major source of occupational injury. The causes are broadly understood, although more attention is needed from a systems perspective. Research has shown preventative action to be effective, but further studies are required to understand which aspects are most beneficial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)861-883
Number of pages23
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2 2016


  • Slips
  • fall causation
  • fall prevention
  • occupational injury prevention
  • trips and falls
  • workplace falls

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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