Taiwan study finds women tend to slip, fall more than men

PHOTO: Taiwan study finds women tend to slip, fall more than men

TAIPEI - Women tend to slip and fall more often than men, but a higher proportion of men tend to sustain serious injuries from falls, according to statistics released Friday by the Council of Labor Affair's Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

Of 25,364 occupational compensation cases related to falls from 2006 to 2010, 97.2 per cent were classified as occupational injuries while 2.8 per cent involved permanent disabilities and death, the IOSH said.

Women tended to suffer more from occupational falls, especially in the 50-65 age bracket, which generated 5,361 compensation claims.

In comparison, only 4,721 men applied for benefits in the same age group.

But men were involved in more cases related to injuries that resulted in permanent disabilities, with 427 cases, compared with 215 cases for women, while 64 men and only six women died from falls, institute figures showed.

Regardless of gender, fall risks increased with age, indicating that age was one of the important hidden risk factors in such accidents, the institute said.

The average age of women who applied for occupational injury benefits was 47.9 years old, while it was 44 years old among men.

"Women need to stand for long hours because of their jobs at work, and most wear uniforms with narrow skirts and high heels, making it easy for them to lose their balance and fall," the institute report noted.

"Fatigue in calf muscles increases women's likelihood of falling when walking, and 90 per cent of their injuries are sustained to their limbs," the report added.

If a workplace's lighting is inadequate or the floor is too slippery, uneven, filled with puddles, or obstructed by objects, it increases the likelihood of falls, the institute said.

Employees should take precautions to prevent slipping at work, including keeping the floor clean and putting up warning signs to keep accidents from happening, the institute recommended.