Solvent exposure and the risk of slips, trips, and falls among painters

Katherine L. Hunting, Genevieve M. Matanoski, Marilyn Larson, Rodney Wolford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This study evaluated risk factors for injurious and noninjurious slips, trips, and falls among painters and investigated the hypothesis that exposure to solvents influenced the risk of such accidents. The data were collected longitudinally over an 11 month period. Weekly self‐administered questionnaires detailed paint solvent exposure; work‐related slips, trips, and falls (STFs); and potentially hazardous job tasks and environmental conditions. An initial questionnaire ascertained personal data, such as age, solvent exposure history, and alcohol consumption. During the study, 2,088 person‐weeks of data were collected. Some participants provided many weeks of data, while others responded sporadically. Exposure to potentially hazardous environmental conditions was significantly related to the occurrence of STFs during a week. Several measures of solvent exposure were evaluated for their effect on STFs. Low solvent exposure during a week significantly increased the occurrence of slips, trips, and falls compared to no exposure. Moderate and high weekly exposure were not associated with increased risk, however. Week‐to‐week variability in the amount of solvent exposure was a strong positive predictor of STFs. Further analysis showed that both increases and decreases in solvent exposure between the preceding 2 weeks and the week of the STF were positively related to the risk of such events. The stongest effect was observed for exposure increases over the preceding 2 weeks. Overall, the results suggest that solvent exposure variability may increase accident risk, and possible explanations are explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-370
Number of pages18
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991


  • neurotoxicity
  • occupational injuries
  • painters
  • solvents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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