30 Forensic Engineering’s Multidisciplinary Approach Provides a 360° View of Slip & Fall Assessments

(TORONTO) — 30 Forensic Engineering, Canada’s leading and fully-independent multi-disciplinary forensics firm, offers world-class and trial-tested expertise on biomechanical and human factors involved in slip and fall assessments for insurance and legal clients. Working in tandem with our Personal Injury and Civil/Structural groups, our team of experts can provide a full, unassailable picture of cause and effect.

In addition to measuring the slip resistance of the walking surface and comparing to available standards, we consider the whole picture – including individual pedestrian characteristics (e.g., age, disability, experience), activity (e.g., walking straight, turning, rushing, descending stairs), and environment (e.g., signage, lighting, and distraction). Our approach allows for an in-depth understanding of incidents allowing for confident decision making.

Slips and falls seem to be a simple issue, caused by too little slip resistance, or friction, between footwear and the walking surface. However, assessing the cause of a slip and fall incident is often not as simple as comparing the measured slip resistance of the flooring to standards. Flooring manufacturers are aware of the need to provide flooring solutions that meet slip resistance standards. However, there are often multiple factors contributing to the initiation of a slip and influencing the likelihood of it resulting in a fall that are beyond the scope of current standards or best practices.

While standards provide guidance for what constitutes an adequately slip resistant surface, often the slip resistance values are described in the context of a healthy person walking normally on a level surface. The blind application of these standards often fails to address critical issues, such as the risks faced by the aging population.

Additional factors that are significant in slip and fall incidents must also be considered, including:

  • Gait (how an individual walks) and injury biomechanics
  • Footwear properties
  • Walking surface design and installation
  • Cleaning and maintenance programs and products
  • Environmental conditions such as lighting and distractions
  • User behaviour and experience

For more information regarding our Biomechanics, Personal Injury and Human Factors Group, please contact:

Dr. Robert Parkinson B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.

Dr. Adam Campbell, B.Kin., Ph.D.
Senior Associate

Kathleen Denbeigh, B.Sc.E, M.A.Sc.
Intermediate Associate

Brittany Sinclair, B.Sc., E.I.T.

30 Forensic Engineering