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HFE Consulting

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Home > Forensics > Falls 
Causes of Falls

Falls may occur because of one or more factors:

• Environmental factors may include:
     Irregular walkway, such as a displacement between sidewalk slabs
     Liquids or other debris on the walking surface that decrease slip resistance
     Insufficient lighting or contrast for pedestrians to perceive obstacles or debris
     Absent or inadequate handrails
     Distractions such as pedestrian or vehicular traffic
     Inadequate warnings of trip or slip hazards

• Behavioral factors may include:
     Failure to wear lenses to correct vision, or wearing sunglasses indoors
     Ingestion of medication, alcohol or drugs that may affect perception or balance
     Carrying packages that impede vision of surroundings or affect balance
     Inattention to environmental conditions such as construction zones or rain

• What we do:
Our experience and knowledge of human factors engineering, as well as building and safety codes and standards, enables us to analyze environmental and behavioral issues to render an expert opinion about the factors that contributed to a fall.

• Example cases:
Cases have included trip-and-fall, slip-and-fall; falls on walkways, stairs, ramps, and ladders in public, commercial and industrial settings.

! Ask for a copy of our paper: Slips, Trips and Falls

• Forensics human factors articles on falls from HFE Consulting.

HFE Consulting
Phone: (408) 234-6903
Email:  info at


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