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.