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Slips Trips and Falls

Ozzie Cruz: I'm Ozzie Cruz and you're listening to TransitTrax, New York City Transit's podcast service.

(sound of train pulling into station)

he sound of a train pulling into a station causes a number of reactions among straphangers. Some people close their ears to avoid the noise; others, sensing the time to board is at hand, start jockeying for position; but that jockeying can sometimes lead to injury.

Adam Pierce Boneker, System Safety: Slips, trips and falls are definitely our biggest problem for customers within the system.

Ozzie Cruz: Adam Pierce Boneker is Manager of Safety Analysis for the Office of System Safety at New York City Transit

Adam Pierce Boneker: Percentage-wise, 75 percent of all of our accidents are slips, trips and falls. This is especially hard on the stairs and escalator areas.

Ozzie Cruz: In 2005, there were almost 3 thousand four hundred Slip, Trip and Fall accidents.in the subways ... up from three thousand two hundred in 2004. The main cause of all these Slip, Trip And Fall injuries is RUNNING - whether on a staircase or an escalator… running is dangerous. To avoid being a statistic, and more importantly becoming injured yourself, all you have to do, says Boneker, is to slow down.

Adam Pierce Boneker: People need to slow down, both entering and exiting the subway - running especially on sometimes when we have escalators that are temporarily out of service, is an especially dangerous area, and just running upstairs and not holding handrails- holding handrails is another big area where people can improve their safety.

Ozzie Cruz: New York City Transit regularly runs Public Information campaigns in the subway and on the back of MetroCards urging riders to "Hold On - Whether You're Going Up or Down" or "Running Late? Be sure to slow down on stairs and escalators"

(sound of safety announcement)

While most slips, trips and falls occur in stations - whether on platforms or on stairs, a good number happens once people are safely on board trains and on their way:

Adam Pierce Boneker: Even though the subway is a fairly smooth-running system, that when trains are coming into a station they sometimes come to not a smooth halt and people can slip, trip, or fall during that time, and also leaving a station, there's always going to be that acceleration going forward, just like if you were in a car leaving a stop light.

Ozzie Cruz: The danger increases when people walk between cars from one train to another - which is why New York City Transit urges riders to "Pick a Car, any Car, and Stay There." The rule to stay safe on board is the same as on an escalator or stairway: hold on... and be aware of your surroundings.

For more information about how to avoid becoming an accident victim, look for safety posters posted in stations, or brochures located in Customer Information Centers; or you can log on to www.mta.info, because at New York City Transit:

We're Serious About Safety, Your Safety.

For TransitTrax, I'm Ozzie Cruz.