November is National Fall Prevention Month

Slips, trips and falls in Alberta cost more than $290 million annually in hospital visits and emergency admissions. Across Canada, these account for $5.6 billion annually in direct health care costs in older adults and send nearly 260 of them to the hospital every day. These events also contribute to numerous claims and litigation that many municipalities experience.

November is National Fall Prevention Month. It’s a great time to raise awareness about slips, trips and falls, since winter brings an increase in icy surfaces, wet entrance floors and snow-covered objects. As more people head indoors to pursue their sports and recreational activities over the winter months, there is an increased likelihood of incidents taking place in recreational facilities and public buildings.

Here are some effective ways you can address slips, trips, and falls in your community:

  • Implement great housekeeping and regular safety checks where the public has walking access. Regularly inspect and document efforts in a log to establish routines and demonstrate significant effort on part of the municipality to keep people safe.
  • Regularly inspect areas like bleachers or playgrounds to ensure these structures are safe and in good working order. Document these inspections.
  • Familiarize yourself with slip, trip and fall prevention and risk management strategies by reviewing our e-Learning materials. Modules RM1 - Essentials of Municipal Risk Management and RM 2 - Liability Loss Control - Public Works address slips, trips, and falls.
  • Review ABmunis' Risk Management: Hot Topics page for more information around winter-related hazards.
  • Engage in Alberta Municipalities’ building valuation and loss control program, which can help identify strategies regarding this issue and others.

Visit the Fall Prevention Month website to access tools, statistics and materials to help you promote awareness in your community this winter.