According to the Australian Centre for Disease Control (CDC), Falls are Australia’s number one cause of injury hospitalisation and death, representing 42% of injury hospitalisations and 40% of injury deaths. Even when there’s no serious injury, a fall can be so frightening that people may avoid certain activities out of fear they’ll fall again. And according to experts that's not unreasonable, because if you fall once, your chance of falling again doubles. To ensure the safety and well-being of individuals, it is crucial to address fall prevention proactively.
In this article, we will explore five controls you can take today to protect yourself and others from falls' physical, emotional and financial consequences.
Whether it’s slippery floors, rickety stairs, or electrical cords, some of the most common causes of falls are in plain sight. That’s why fall prevention starts with creating a environment, whether it's your home or your workplace. It doesn’t have to involve a complete remodel. You can make your environment from falls with just a few basic changes. Simple adjustments such as removing clutter, ensuring adequate lighting, and installing grab bars and handrails can make a substantial difference in preventing falls. Slippery surfaces in areas like bathtubs, showers, kitchens, bathrooms, and porches can become extremely high risk when wet. To prevent falls on slick surfaces, invest in nonslip mats.
Studies have shown that engaging in regular exercise programs that focus on improving strength, flexibility, and balance can significantly reduce the risk of falls. Encourage staff and participants to start doing simple activities like walking to enhance muscle strength and improve stability. Numerous community centres, gyms, and health systems offer exercise programs specifically designed for older adults to prevent falls. However keep mindful of at risk individuals, and encourage them to consult with their healthcare professional before starting an exercise regime.
An assistive device is a product that helps make daily life activities easier for people at risk of falls. There are lots of products that fit this description, ranging from simple plastic tools to high-tech solutions such as mobility aids, canes, walkers, and wheelchairs. External aids such as installing grab bars in bathrooms and handrails on stairs can also enhance safety and prevent falls.
4. Compliance and regular internal audit
Consider establishing a fall prevention policy and procedure. Many industries, including healthcare, construction, and manufacturing, have regulatory requirements regarding fall prevention. Establishing a policy and procedure helps organisations comply with these regulations, ensuring they meet the necessary standards and avoid penalties or legal issues. To verify the effectiveness of your processes, conduct a regular NDIS Internal Audit to validate your compliance.
Conducting regular risk assessments to identify potential hazards and areas of concern is another crucial aspect of fall prevention. Encourage staff and participants to report hazards and near misses. Anytime a fall hazard or near-miss incident has been identified, it should be reported immediately & also investigated to prevent an incident from happening in the future.
Here are a few examples to help you identify hazards and near misses:
Examples of Fall Hazards:
Examples of Near Miss Falls:
When falls are the leading cause of hospitalisation and death, fall prevention is almost synonymous with injury prevention. Prioritising safety, identifying and addressing potential hazards, and taking the proactive measures we discussed today mean a safer and more enjoyable future for you and your loved ones.
The information contained in this guide was obtained from sources believed to be reliable. LMS TRG’s principals' affiliates, director (s) or other persons above do not accept responsibility for such information and state this bundle is of a general nature only and neither represents nor is intended to be advice on any particular matter. Whilst every care has been taken in its preparation, no person should act specifically based on the material condition herein without considering and taking professional advice.
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