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Slip Simulator Integrating Safety into Science

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1 Slip Simulator Integrating Safety into Science
Bethany Rich, ESH Integration Office Lead Los Alamos National Laboratory 5/14/13 LA-UR LA-UR

2 Slips, Trips and Falls at LANL
Slips, trips, and falls are a leading cause of injury at LANL. Many occur during the typical winter weather of Northern NM when employees walk on surfaces covered with ice and snow. Various efforts to help reduce the risks associated with adverse conditions, have included: providing traction footwear for employees repairing sidewalks, stairs, and parking lots asking workers to wear weather-appropriate shoes placing barrels of de-icer in high-traffic areas … but we weren’t seeing a significant reduction.

3 Slips, Trips and Falls at LANL
While researching methods to reduce slips and falls, LANL’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Office looked into the use of a slip simulator designed by Virginia Tech that has been used by United Parcel Service to significantly reduce their slip injuries. As a result LANL purchased three simulators. The experience raises awareness of the importance of length of stride, placement of your center of gravity, and walking speed. Business Case: Slip simulator purchase: $4,000 An average DOE recordable injury cost = $25,000

4 The objective of a slip simulator is to provide a kinetic learning module (“learn by doing”) that has participants experience a slippery surface without the risk of falling due to a built-in fall arrest system.

5 Training Sessions Entail
Making a first pass on the simulator with your natural walking gate. Making a second pass after learning the 4 new techniques. Keep head up (look down with eyes only) Keep shoulders over ankles Take half steps Walk flat-footed (not heel-to-toe) Making a third pass with an introduced distraction. Making a fourth pass to test upper speed limit with the new techniques. Film Clip

6 The Slip Simulator has enabled us to raise awareness of a variety of at-risk behaviors we perform routinely, such as texting while walking.

7 Trainers use a variety of props to illustrate how the introduction of simple tasks increase the risk of slipping and falling due to lack of focus or a change in balance. Examples include the use of cell phones or carrying beverages and backpacks.

8 Navigating curbs, climbing stairs without the use of handrails, and reading while walking can also increase slip and fall risk.

9 Testing the Impact of PPE
Various LANL organizations have used the slip simulator to test their PPE in a safe environment. In some cases, certain types of footwear were chosen over others due to their improved performance on a slippery surface.

10 The use of the Slip Simulator has also been able to raise awareness about risks associated with walking in adverse conditions like chemical or oil spills.

11 Work with the Lab’s Protective Force, who are required to wear full ballistic gear during emergency response activities, resulted in a change to how they wear their equipment, and how they draw their weapons.

12 LANL Slip Simulator Experience Statistics
Over last 28 months: - 4,400 out of 10,000 workers have been trained as an Observer or Participant - 92 injury cases have involved slips on slippery surfaces Of the 5,600 workers with no training on the Slip Simulator: 71 fell on a slick surface (1.1%) Of the 2,270 workers with Observer training on the Slip Simulator: 10 fell on a slick surface AFTER receiving the Observer training (0.44%) Of the 2,130 workers with Participant training on the Slip Simulator: 4 fell on a slick surface AFTER receiving the Participant training (0.18%)

13 Summary The Slip Simulator has enabled LANL to integrate a practical application of safety into our scientific work. Kinetic learning is proving to be an extremely effective method of training.

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