Slips and Trips Lead to Falls and Injury

You lose traction on a slippery floor and start to fall, hitting the ground with a thud. If you’re lucky, you’ll walk away with only your ego bruised. If you’re not, you could be seriously injured.

Slips, trips and falls are among the most common causes of serious injuries at work – second only to hazardous manual tasks. And you don’t have to fall far. Falling as little as two metres can result in serious injury and lengthy amounts of time off work.

While the most common injuries are cuts, bruises, sprains, strains, fractures and dislocations, more serious injuries can also occur, and even death.

What do we mean by slips, trips and falls?

A slip: is when your foot loses traction with the ground surface. This can be due to inappropriate footwear or walking on slippery surfaces that are highly polished, wet or greasy.

A trip: can occur when you catch your foot on an object or surface and lose your balance. Most commonly, people trip on low obstacles that are difficult to spot, such as uneven edges in flooring, loose mats, open drawers, and poorly stored materials such as untidy tools or electrical cables.

A fall: can result from a slip or trip, although they can also occur from falling from low heights such as steps, stairs, and curbs, or falling into a hole, ditch or into water.

How to prevent injury

  • Report any inadequate or broken lighting, which can prevent someone noticing slip or trip hazards.
  • Avoid and/or report trailing cables or other low obstacles such as open drawers, loose mats or carpet tiles, or wrinkled carpeting.
  • Keep walking areas clear of clutter or obstructions.
  • Clean up or report any contaminants immediately. Contaminants can be wet, such as water, oil or grease; or dry, such as dust, metal shavings, plastic bags or off-cuts.
  • Wear appropriate footwear for your role. It should be suitable for your type of work and work environment, comfortable, and with an adequate non-slip sole and appropriate tread pattern.
  • Always take your time and pay attention to where you are going.
  • If you are carrying or pushing anything, make sure it doesn’t prevent you from seeing any obstructions.

Why Soda Water May Be Bad for Your Teeth

Regularly drinking soft drinks and other sugary drinks can lead to cavities and gum disease. But is fizzy water any better?

We’re told to brush twice a day, floss, avoid sugar and visit your dentist regularly. “Taking care of your teeth will ward off cavities and gum disease.”

And with an estimated 2.3 billion people in the world suffering from tooth decay, it’s a message we need to listen to.

Sugary, fizzy drinks, such as soft drinks and sports drinks are double trouble for our teeth. First, they contain sugar. Bacteria that live in your mouth feed on sugar and form acid which attacks the surface of your teeth. Over time, this can result in cavities.

Then there’s the acid content of soft drinks. Even if a fizzy drink doesn’t contain sugar, it often contains phosphoric or citric acid. This lowers the pH of the drink (making it more acidic) which can soften your tooth enamel, leading to damage.


What about my home-made soda water?

Soda water is a better option than most soft drinks as it contains no sugar. However, we should not drink it every day.

Soda water is also known as carbonated water. It is created by dissolving carbon dioxide gas in water – this creates an acid known as carbonic acid. The carbonic acid causes the pH of the soda water to be lower than plain water, but it is not as low as fizzy soft drinks.

The American Dental Association agrees, saying that even though the acidity occurring in sparkling water is far less than what you’d find in a citrus juice or many soft and sports drinks, they advise keeping any acidic drinks to mealtimes only.


Trust the tap

It’s boring, but your best options are tap water or milk. Most of us have access to fluoridated drinking water, which helps to protect and strengthen teeth. If your local tap water is unsuitable for drinking, bottled plain water is also a good option.

If you do drink fizzy drinks, or other acidic drinks such as hot water and lemon, kombucha or apple cider vinegar drinks, follow these with a glass of clear tap water or plain bottled water and avoid brushing your teeth for at least 30 minutes. Any form of acid will soften your tooth enamel and if you brush too soon you risk adding to the erosion.

Want to Lose Weight? Don’t Rely on Exercise Alone

Move more and you can enjoy that extra slice of cake or second drink. Or so we’ve been led to believe. The evidence suggests that it’s not quite that simple.

Building up a sweat at the gym can feel good. You’re on a quest to lose weight and your workout will burn up plenty of kilojoules. But this message is misleading, and it can cause your motivation to wane if your weight isn’t decreasing as quickly as you’d hoped.

Here are some facts about exercise, and why it may not be the quick fix for weight loss that we once believed.

FACT: Exercise alone can’t create a big energy deficit.

The process should be fairly straightforward. Exercise more, burn kilojoules, develop an energy deficit and lose weight.

Except it isn’t quite that simple.

While your food intake accounts for 100 per cent of the energy that goes into your body, exercise only burns off less than 10 to 30 per cent of it. Your basal metabolic rate (energy needed for basic body functions) accounts for 60 to 80 per cent of total energy expenditure.

If a 90-kilogram man added 60 minutes of medium-intensity running four days per week while keeping his kilojoule intake the same, and he did this for 30 days, he’d lose just over kilograms, calculated Dr Kevin Hall of the US National Institutes of Health.

“If this person then decided to increase his food intake, or relax more to recover from the added activity, then even less weight would be lost,” says Dr Hall.

If you are overweight or obese and trying to lose a large amount of weight, it would take lots of time, effort and willpower to make a real impact on kilojoule deficit through exercise alone.


FACT: You can’t outrun a bad diet.

For many years we’ve believed that lack of exercise and excess kilojoules are equally to blame for the current obesity crisis. Many researchers disagree, with some claiming in the British Medical Journal that “you can’t outrun a bad diet.” They blame our expanding waistlines primarily on our food choices, stressing that where the kilojoules come from is as important as the number.

Poor diet does more than add weight. According to The Lancet global burden of disease reports, poor diet is responsible for more disease than physical inactivity, alcohol and smoking combined. You can be active every day, but it won’t negate the effects of an unhealthy diet.


FACT: Exercise is the world’s best drug.

This doesn’t mean you should give up exercise. There are many reasons to move more beyond weight loss. “It’s probably the single best thing you can do, other than stopping smoking, to improve your health,” says Dr Hall.

Upping your activity levels will reduce your risk for chronic diseases including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, dementia and certain cancers. It will support your immune system so you can better fight off illness; improve your sleep quality, fitness and mood; and protect against depression, anxiety and stress.

And while exercise may not help us lose a lot of weight on the scales unless we address diet too, studies have shown it’s essential for keeping weight off and preventing weight regain.

As a bonus, regular exercise changes our dietary habits, which means we’ll have an easier time making healthier food choices.

Hope for People at Risk of Lung Cancer

For too long, people diagnosed with lung cancer have faced a double whammy of despair and distress. Firstly, lung cancer is one of the most fatal cancers. Secondly, there is still a stigma around lung cancer for people who smoked. Both of these problems are set to change over the coming years.

According to the World Health Organization, lung cancer was the most common cause of cancer death, with 1.8 million deaths attributed to it in 2020.

If you are diagnosed with lung cancer, you have an 85% chance of dying within five years.

So two questions: why it is so fatal, and why aren’t we talking about it more? Let’s answer the first question first.


Why lung cancer is so fatal?

Surgery is still the best treatment for lung cancer, but many people aren’t diagnosed until it’s too late for surgery.

People can live with lung cancer for many years before they show any signs or symptoms, and screening for lung cancer is not yet commonplace.


Why we are not talking about it?

The truth is that 80% of lung cancer is caused by smoking. This has led to a stigma around the disease. Many people presume that a patient’s illness is due to smoking, and that they could have just chosen not to smoke. This is far from accurate. It’s not the individual’s fault they were sold these cigarettes became addicted, it’s Big Tobacco that is really the problem here. We don’t stigmatise any other cancer, even if it might have been going out in the sun or eating too much barbecued meat. This stigma could lead to delays in seeking treatment and this could impact long term outcomes.


What about lung cancer screening?

Lung cancer screening is a test to see if there are any early signs of lung cancer in people who are not showing any symptoms. It allows lung cancer to be caught at an early stage, which greatly improves the chances of treating it successfully.

Some countries have started implementing government screening programs for patients deemed “high risk”, but many countries do not. This is partly because lung cancer screening is not yet advanced.

The only recommended screening test for lung cancer is low-dose computed tomography (also called a low-dose CT scan). The problem is that false positives have created a lot of over-diagnosis and unnecessary interventions which can also cause harm.

This is changing. In countries like the UK, Canada and the UAE, programs are being developed to introduce or expand lung cancer screening, although the focus for many lung cancer campaigns still remains on quitting smoking.

In addition, a new lung cancer prediction tool has had some success. The tool uses a mathematical formula to predict risk, based on a combination of factors such as age, smoking intensity, duration and years quit, as well as body mass index and family history of lung cancer.

Declutter One Area of Your Home

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, annoyed or simply stuck, decluttering can be a super simple yet super effective way to shift your energy.

Decluttering is not a fix-all, and despite what those Instagram stories will try to tell you, it won’t change your life. But it really can help your mental health.

Decluttering simply means sorting through your stuff, and getting rid of things that are no longer useful. Or, as the queen of decluttering, Marie Kondo says, things that no longer “spark joy”.

Today, spend a few moments decluttering just one area of your home. In a small but meaningful way, it will help you:

- focus on what’s important to you.

Choosing what to keep and what to remove is a powerful exercise in figuring out your values, your preferences and what you really need and want in your life.

- feel more organised.

“A place for everything and everything in its place”. Whether this was first said by Ben Franklin or Mary Poppins, they were both very wise. The act of decluttering often helps you streamline your morning and evening routines, with everything you need all lined up and within easy reach.

- clean faster

Less stuff means less stuff to tidy. With more space, and more organised spaces, you’ll find it easier and quicker to do routine cleaning such as vacuuming and tidying up.