Falls are responsible for a substantial injury burden in the global workplace. Restaurant environments are particularly challenged by slips, trips, and falls. This study explored those factors that could influence workers' self-reports of slipperiness in U.S. fast-food restaurants. One hundred and twenty-six workers employed in 10 fast-food restaurants in the northeastern United States participated in the study representingastudywide response rate of 87.5%. Participants' ratings of floor slipperiness and occupational slip history within the past 4 weeks were collected through written questionnaire. Additional factors collected by questionnaire included age, gender, shift length, and shoe type. Shoe condition (wear) and shoe contamination were visually assessed by the investigators. Floor friction was also measured. Lower restaurant mean coefficient of friction and the presence of contamination on workers' shoe soles were environmental factors significantly associated with workers reporting more slippery conditions. A recent workplace history of slipping with or without a subsequent fall was also significantly associated with workers reporting more slippery conditions. Workers over the age of 45 reported conditions to be significantly less slippery than younger workers. The results suggest that worker ratings of slipperiness are influenced not only by the actual level of friction but also by the other individual and environmental factors noted above. Recommendations for future studies would include a longitudinal design to better capture the temporal sequence between these variables. More field research is needed to better understand the association between workplace conditions, worker perception of slipperiness, and slipping at work.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health