1200-1230 2013_05_09 Slip Sim Presentation for DOE

Slip Simulator
Integrating Safety into Science
Bethany Rich, ESH Integration Office Lead
Los Alamos National Laboratory
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.
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
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.
Training Sessions Entail
• Making a first pass on the simulator with your natural
walking gate.
• Making a second pass after learning the 4 new
1. Keep head up (look down with eyes only)
2. Keep shoulders over ankles
3. Take half steps
4. 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
The Slip Simulator has enabled us to raise awareness of a variety of at-risk
behaviors we perform routinely, such as texting while walking.
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.
Navigating curbs, climbing stairs without
the use of handrails, and reading while
walking can also increase slip and fall risk.
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.
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.
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.
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%)
• 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
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