Falling safety tips: Do you know how to fall SAFELY? 6 steps for personal protection.
Do you know how to fall SAFELY? 6 steps for personal protection.
Fall protection is often stressed, we’re always looking to avoid falls; but have you ever thought about what to do when you can’t avoid the fall? The following 6 steps will help reduce injury as you slip, slide, or fall.
Protect your head. The most important body part that you need to protect in a fall is your head. Head injuries can be very serious, even deadly. Make sure you prioritize protecting your head as you fall by properly positioning it.
- Tuck your your chin down, lowering your head.
- If falling down, face first, turn your head to the side.
- Bring your arms up to head level for additional protection. Put them in front of your head if falling forwards or behind your head if falling backwards.
- If you are taking anticoagulants or blood thinners and fall and hit your head, this may result in a dangerous and life-threatening bleed inside your skull. Call your doctor, who may tell you to go to the hospital for a CT scan.
Turn as you fall. If you are falling either straight forward or straight backwards, try to turn your body so you land on your side. Falling directly on your back can cause serious injury to it. A frontal fall can cause damage to the head, face, and arms. By landing on your side you can reduce the chance of injury from high distances (for example, one way vertical paths).
Keep arms and legs bent. It may be tempting to try and catch yourself fully as you fall with your arms. However, landing with your arms straight out and absorbing the full force of the fall with them can cause injury. Try keeping both arms and legs slightly bent as you fall.
- Landing fully on your arms in an attempt to catch yourself can break both your wrists and arms.
Stay loose. Tensing up during a fall can increase the chances of sustaining an injury. The tension in your body won’t allow for the absorption of force from the fall. Instead of spreading the impact out over a flexible body, the parts that were kept taught are more likely to break instead of going with the motion.
- You can try breathing out as you fall to help keep your body relaxed.
Roll out of the impact. If you are able, a good technique to dissipate the force of a fall is to roll into it. By rolling, you send the energy of the fall into the roll, rather than having your body absorb the impact. Since the technique is difficult, you may want to practice falling and rolling at a gym or somewhere with padded and cushioned floors.
- Start in a low squat position.
- Lean forward and place your palms flat on the ground in front of you.
- Push off the ground with your legs and move your weight forwards.
- Your legs will go over your head.
- Keep your back rounded and gently try to land on a shoulder.
- Let the momentum carry you through the roll and back up onto your feet.
Spread out the force of the fall. A big part of falling safely is to spread out the force of the impact over a large area of your body. Falling on a single point will result in that area taking most of the damage. By spreading out the impact, you reduce the chance of serious injury to a single part of the body.
For more tips on how to fall safely click here.
More Insight & Tips
How To Fall To Prevent Injury
November 28, 2017
It was nearly 30 years ago that Mrs. Fletcher from the LifeCall commercials first uttered her plaintive cry: “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!”
Back then, it was campy and funny. But in the intervening years, chances are that you, and perhaps some of your loved ones, have taken some nasty spills. It’s not just the elderly, though, who end up on the ground.
A study in the Journal of Allied Health showed that 50- to 60-year-olds fall more than older folks. We’re more active, and that puts us more at risk of falling. Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that people are more likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury from falling than from any other cause.
And we’re all going to fall down: The world is full of banana peels. So while avoiding a fall is job one, knowing how to take a fall when it’s inevitable is a crucial skill.
“Be smooth, don’t panic, stay loose,” says Alexa Marcigliano, who is really good at falling down. A professional stuntwoman, she’s taken serious spills in shows such as Orange Is the New Black and Blindspot. Here’s her four-point plan for a safe crash landing.
Step 1: Stay bent
The moment you sense you’ve lost your balance, get ready to fall with bent elbows and knees. “When people panic, they become rigid,” Marcigliano says. “In the stunt world, we never reach out with locked arms. Bend your elbows and have some give in your arms to soften the impact.” When you’re rigid, you’re more likely to suffer a set of injuries called FOOSH — doctor speak for “Fall on outstretched hand.” The result is often a broken wrist or elbow.
Step 2: Protect your head
If you’re falling forward, be sure to turn your face to the side. Falling backward? “Tuck your chin to your chest so your head doesn’t hit the ground,” Marcigliano advises.
Step 3: Land on the meat
“One of the things we try for in stunt falls is landing on meaty parts of your body — the muscles in your back, butt or thighs. Not bone.” If you keep your knees and elbows bent and look to land on muscle, you’ll be less likely to crack your elbows, knees, tailbone or hips.
Step 4: Keep falling
Your instinct will be to stop your body as quickly as you can. But your safest route is to keep rolling — indeed, the more you give in to the fall, the safer it will be. “Spread the impact across a larger part of your body; don’t concentrate impact on one area,” Marcigliano says. The more you roll with the fall, the safer you will be.
“In stunts, we do something called slapping out,” Marcigliano notes. “As you fall, let your body roll, and extend your arm palm-down, to slap the ground and stop yourself.
Before the fall
While you can’t prevent all slips, there’s plenty you can do to improve your footing.
- Be here now. Practice “mindfulness” — focus on the present and be aware of your surroundings, instead of being lost in your thoughts.
- Fix your blind spots. If you can’t see it, you can’t avoid tripping over it. Have your eyesight and eyeglasses checked regularly.
- Boost your balance. Stand with your feet together. Raise one foot an inch; hold for 30 seconds. Do this for 10 reps. Repeat with your other foot.
Find exclusive interviews, smart advice, free novels, full documentaries, fun daily features and much more — all a benefit of your AARP membership — on Members Only Access.
Join AARP for Members Only Access
Already a Member? Login
Fall right! Traumatologists remind safety rules in ice | Tips | HEALTH
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
Ekaterina Saenko / AiF
Traumatologists of the Territorial Center for Disaster Medicine of the Sverdlovsk Region annually provide assistance to over 200 patients with injuries. Most of them are from road accidents and other emergencies – victims do not have time to take any action to reduce injuries. But there are situations, such as ice, when the impact force can be reduced by properly preparing for the fall.
Current advice is given by TCMC traumatologists Sergey Popov and Alexey Melnichenko.
“The first thing we would like to focus the attention of Sverdlovsk residents in the off-season (when the temperature passes through zero degrees during the day, transforming the sidewalk into a skating rink) is the right choice of shoes. It is necessary to abandon high heels and flat soles: this seemingly simple advice is often neglected. Meanwhile, the consequences of a fall, even from a height of one’s own height, can be deplorable: from simple bruises to fractures of the femoral neck and the base of the skull,” Sergey Popov explained.
Stability will give you shoes with bulky soles, anti-slip pads, a cane with a rubber tip – it will serve as an additional point of support. A hat or hood on the head can also mitigate the effects of hitting the head on the ice.
The next important point is to try to walk along the edge of the pavement covered with snow, that is, to avoid slippery surfaces. Walk slowly and often, do not keep your hands in your pockets – you simply will not have time to get them out and you will not be able to insure yourself in case of a fall, while most likely the blow will fall on the hip joint, shoulder or head, the consequences can be the saddest.
Can you help yourself in those few milliseconds before you collapse on the ice? Doctors are in solidarity – you can help, you need to fall correctly. There are several “golden” rules that are designed to reduce the force of impact.
When falling, group (tighten) the muscles as much as possible – this way they will serve as a kind of shock absorber. If you fall on your back – open your arms wide, press your chin to your neck – this will increase the impact area, but reduce its strength. If you fall forward, try to shift the trajectory so that the main bruise does not fall on outstretched arms (there is a high risk of dislocation or fracture of the hand), but on your side. Any objects you are holding at the time of the fall should be thrown aside.
So you fell! Assess your condition, if the movements of the limbs do not cause sharp pain – try to stand up, you can ask for help from passers-by. Rest for a while, as the effects of the impact may take several hours to show.
If immediately after the fall you feel a sharp pain, nausea – do not move, call an ambulance (ask eyewitnesses about it), then follow the recommendations of the doctors.
ice Sergey Popovtraumatologist’s advice Alexey Melnichenko
You may also be interested in
How to safely survive the New Year holidays. Traumatologist advice.
Ural traumatologist: “The safety of children is the responsibility of adults”
Basic Safety Rules for Working with Fall Harness
enter the device name. e.g. tripod
- ear anchor
- trosline system
- mobile anchor line
- counterweight system
- harness height 042
Working at height is always associated with a risk to human life and health. Therefore, certain safety standards have now been developed and introduced into mandatory use, which have a clear prescription for the use of specialized equipment when working at height. Tethers can be called the key of these devices.
- Harnesses and how they are determined
- Requirements for a fall arrest harness
- Where to buy a fall arrest harness?
According to the rules on labor protection when working at height, the employer is obliged to issue PPE to the employee depending on the type of work and taking into account the risks that affect the employee.
Safety harnesses, and how their type is determined
Before talking about the types, types and differences of harnesses, you first need to understand what it is in general and for what purposes it is used. The safety harness is an important part of the employee’s personal equipment, it is also a separate element of the safety system, which ensures safety when working at height.
The harness must not restrict the movement of the worker during the movement, however, in the event of a fall stop, keep the worker in himself and ensure that he is hovering with his head up. The task of the connecting system, due to the shock absorber, is to extinguish the jerk force in a range that will not cause serious injury to the worker. Thus, we get a reliable system that works without the participation of the employee himself, provided that it is used correctly.
Taking into account the specifics of work that can be performed at height and highly specialized tasks, harnesses can be used in the following systems:
- Restraint system. Arranged with restraint harness in order to prevent the worker from entering the fall zone. The system is adjusted to a certain range of movement of the worker, while it is impossible to approach the height difference. This excludes a fall from a height as such. Such a system is used on the condition that all the intended work will be in safe access and access to the fall zone is not expected.
- Safety systems. Used in situations where it is necessary to carry out work in areas where a fall is possible. Have safety harness included. In this case, the task of the harness is to hold the worker at the time of the fall, distribute the load over the body and stop the head up after the fall.
- Positioning harnesses are used when a worker needs to be fixed at a height. For this, side points on the harness belt and a special sling are used.
- Unsupported harnesses . A distinctive feature of such harnesses is the possibility of using them in a cable access system. These systems are used in environments where the entire system, and in particular the harness, is the means of access to the workplace. The harness has padding on the shoulder and hip straps. These changes are made in order to ensure a comfortable stay of a person in a sitting position for a long time.
choose a harness according to the job site
When choosing from a variety of harnesses, you should be guided by the approved requirements that they must meet. An extended list can be found in the standards GOST R EN 361-2008 Group T58 and the National Standard of the Russian Federation.
According to these regulations, such systems must take into account:
- the presence of single or multi-filament synthetic materials in the composition, their level of tear strength, indicators of compatibility of woven tape and sewing threads with textile material of slings and belts;
- obligatory presence of straps in the hip and shoulder areas, while comparing such systems with a restraint belt cannot be allowed;
- in such constructions, regulators must be present to adjust the leash to the features of the figure, to ensure high and tight fixation of the body of a particular person;
- The straps must be wide enough to prevent them from cutting into the body when the fall is abruptly stopped. Therefore, a minimum width of 4 cm for basic straps is considered acceptable, and for auxiliary straps – from 2 cm.
Where can I buy a harness?
You can find all types of harnesses for safe work at height in our catalogue.