According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), falls are Australia’s leading cause of injury hospitalisation and death, representing 43% of injury hospitalisations and 42% of injury deaths. Falls requiring hospitalisation occur more frequently in adults with increasing age and are most likely to occur in the home. AIHW claims that in 2021-22, over half of all falls leading to hospitalisation happened on a single-level surface (for example, by slipping), and only 7% of falls involved stairs or steps.
As designers, we should consider the age and capabilities of our clients, and the risks associated with particular areas in the home, at all stages of design. From the layout of our interiors to the selection of materials, we can aim to decrease the risk of falls where possible. In this bulletin, we’re focussing on floors and – specifically – the slip resistance and slip ratings of tiles.