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.
- floor contamination
- slip-resistant shoes
- work hours
- risk assessment
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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.