Background The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare state that falls account for 41% of all hospitalised injuries. In Melbourne City, at various train stations there are extremely long escalators and alarmingly one sign previously displayed states there are approximately 2–3 falls/week.
Methods A general convenience survey [n=125] was distributed to ascertain the percentage of people who’ve fallen down stairs and/or escalators. Additional questions related to rain, high risk footwear, poor lighting and how many falls they have had. Following on from that regardless of whether or not they’d had a fall, survey participants were asked about fear of falling and/or whether they felt uncomfortable around crowds on stairs or escalators.
Results 82 survey forms were returned. 29% of people had fallen, with 16% of those people indicating rain, 16% in either high heels or thongs, while 25% indicated poor visibility. of those whom had fallen the estimate of the number of falls down stairs or escalators ranged from 1–20, with the average being 3 falls.
39% of respondents irrespective of whether or not they had fallen had a fear of falling, while 43% felt uncomfortable around crowds. The age groups were 33% [20–29 yrs], 8% [30–39 yrs], 17% [40–49 yrs], 19% [50–59 yrs] and 23% [older than 60 yrs].
Conclusion Falls down stairs or escalators is relatively common, in addition to a large percentage of people having a fear or feeling uncomfortable.
Learning Outcomes Crowd control at events should include supervisors near stairs or escalators.