More tiny causes of slip, trip and fall accidents

I was surprised recently when I felt a door threshold sloping down on exiting a hospital bathroom and shower to a patient’s room. It was noticeable and unexpected. I measured the threshold later. It was 5.5 inches wide and 1.0 inches lower from one side to the other, a slope of 18.1%. The floor in the patient’s room was 1.0 inches lower than the bathroom floor. Not much you say?

Tiny cause #1 A sloping threshold is disturbing enough but this was a doorway in rooms where older people stay. The unexpected slope could throw a person off as it did me a little on one occasion. If the patient had just come out of the shower with wet feet the slope will increase the chances of a patient slipping and falling.

This incident prompted me to think of other places with potential causes of falls, one quite close to home.

Tiny cause #2 I’ve blogged about a slight change in the height of a curb causing me to fall (Ref. 1) and Tiny cause #3 a protruding piece of frozen wet snow doing the same (Ref. 2). Cause #4 And dripping water from a bathing suit upping the slipperiness of a sauna floor. (Ref. 3)

Cause #5 I’ve been in a men’s locker room where the floor is so slippery and the red caution sign so big that you don’t know where to look to avoid it in your face. If the floor is that slippery when wet why not fix it?

Cause #6 Pool decks have warning signs not to run but little kids having fun still do, particularly to the tiny tot pool in one place.

Tiny cause #7 Closer to home, I’ve realized that the slight difference in level between my deck and the first step -1.5 inches lower – could cause someone to trip and fall. I know how to fix it and I will.


  1. My personal slip, trip and fall accident, #1. Posted September 2, 2021
  2. My personal slip, trip and fall accident, #2. Posted February 26, 2023
  3. The humble pig rises to new heights in a heart transplant, and a forensic investigation of a slip, trip and fall accident. Posted January 11, 2022

(Posted by Eric E. Jorden, M.Sc., P.Eng. Consulting Professional Engineer, Forensic Engineer, Geotechnology Ltd., Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. March 15, 2023   

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