Article Text

other Versions

PDF
Rushing, distraction, walking on contaminated floors and risk of slipping in limited-service restaurants: a case–crossover study
  1. Santosh K Verma1,2,3,
  2. David A Lombardi1,2,
  3. Wen Ruey Chang4,
  4. Theodore K Courtney1,2,
  5. Yueng-Hsiang Huang5,
  6. Melanye J Brennan1,
  7. Murray A Mittleman2,6,
  8. James H Ware7,
  9. Melissa J Perry2
  1. 1Center for Injury Epidemiology, Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, Hopkinton, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2Environmental and Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology Program, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  3. 3Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
  4. 4Center for Physical Ergonomics, Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, Hopkinton, Massachusetts, USA
  5. 5Center for Behavioral Sciences, Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, Hopkinton, Massachusetts, USA
  6. 6Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  7. 7Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Melissa J Perry, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, Building 1 Room 1411, Boston, MA 02115, USA; mperry{at}hsph.harvard.edu

Abstract

Objectives This nested case–crossover study examined the association between rushing, distraction and walking on a contaminated floor and the rate of slipping, and whether the effects varied according to weekly hours worked, job tenure and use of slip-resistant shoes.

Methods At baseline, workers from 30 limited-service restaurants in the USA reported average work hours, average weekly duration of exposure to each transient risk factor and job tenure at the current location. Use of slip-resistant shoes was determined. During the following 12 weeks, participants reported weekly their slip experience and exposures to the three transient exposures at the time of slipping. The case–crossover design was used to estimate the rate ratios using the Mantel–Haenszel estimator for person-time data.

Results Among 396 participants providing baseline information, 210 reported one or more slips with a total of 989 slips. Rate of slipping was 2.9 times higher when rushing as compared to working at a normal pace (95% CI 2.5 to 3.3). Rate of slipping was also significantly increased by distraction (rate ratio (RR) 1.7, 95% CI 1.5 to 2.0) and walking on a contaminated floor (RR 14.6, 95% CI 12.6 to 17.0). Use of slip-resistant shoes decreased the effects of rushing and walking on a contaminated floor. Rate ratios for all three transient factors decreased monotonically as job tenure increased.

Conclusion The results suggest the importance of these transient risk factors, particularly floor contamination, on rate of slipping in limited-service restaurant workers. Stable characteristics, such as slip-resistant shoes, reduced the effects of transient exposures.

  • Slip
  • falls
  • injury
  • restaurants
  • rushing
  • distraction
  • floor contamination
  • slip-resistant shoes
  • work hours
  • case-crossover
  • epidemiology
  • FATIGUE
  • PPE
  • risk assessment

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Footnotes

  • Funding The Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety funded this study.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Institutional Review Board of Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety and the Office of Human Research Administration at the Harvard School of Public Health.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.