Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Common Components of Universal Falls Precautions

Common Components of Universal Falls Precautions


  • Familiarize the person with the environment
  • Provide instruction on using the call bell
  • Mobilize when possible
  • Provide the following:
  • Sturdy handrails in patient bathrooms, rooms, and hallways
  • Adequate lighting (night light, supplemental lighting as needed)
  • Uncluttered care areas
  • All areas cleared of tripping hazards
  • Incontinence precautions (safe and regular toileting)


  • Low position (at the height of the knee or appropriate height when following hip precautions*)
  • Brakes locked (bed or chair)
  • Bottom bed rails down (for split rail*) unless assessed otherwise
  • Items within reach (personal items and call bell/light)
  • Document transfers/mobility assistance


  • Non-slip, supportive footwear with a low heel
  • Clean, dry floor surfaces
  • Prompt clean-up of spills

Sources: Degelau et al., 2012; Scott, 2013; Wallis & Campbell, 2011.

* Provided by the expert panel.

Older Adults
Preventing Falls and Reducing Injury from Falls
Point of Care Resources