PF01A – Understanding the underlying causes of slips, trips and falls in rail station environments

What was the issue?

Seeking to provide foundation for understanding and addressing the issue of slips, trips and falls in rail terminals and trains.

What was done?

Literature review and analysis of data obtained from Western Australia and Queensland.

What was found?

Four main components were identified as potentially important to examining slip, trip and fall events:

  • The individual
  • The personal items with them
  • The environment
  • Other people present in the environment

Elderly individuals, speed of travel (running/rushing), luggage, and drug and alcohol impairment were factors identified in the data analysis.

Three essential strategic steps determined to address slip, tip and fall events in a location:

  • Identification of the current issues that occur
  • Identification of possible contributing factors
  • Identification of actions to minimise/eliminate future events occurring

Further research into slip, trip and fall events in both rail terminals and on trains is needed. This includes both uneven surfaces (steps, escalators, boarding/alighting trains) and level surfaces.

Further research on how people move through the terminals/trains and their hazard perception is needed.

Safe flooring surfaces and adequate lighting were identified as important in the literature review, but the latter was not found in the historical data analysis.

Note there may be activities or distractions that increase the risk of slip, trip and fall events that were not extractable from the historically recorded data.

Further Research

Further research has followed on from this initial research.

The Slips Trips and Falls Stages 2 & 3 research project will

  • Identify the underlying causes of slips, trips and falls, both from the rail user and the stations/train characteristics.
  • Use quantitative and qualitative studies with high risks groups to evaluate the potential for increasing rail users’ compliance with safety rules.