Falling Safely

A stick figure falling forward.

Slips, trips, and falls are some of the most common safety incidents reported to OSHA, and this trend is matched at TWU. While avoiding falls by being aware of your surrounding and always using caution should be the priority, knowing HOW to fall in a manner that will reduce the likelihood of injury is also important.

Below are tips and videos for falling forward, backward, and to the side. It is recommended that members of the TWU community practice falling in the manner depicted in the videos until it becomes second nature.

Thanks to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Class of 2011 for sharing this safety information. A link to the full presentation on this topic can also be found below.

Falling Forward


  • Keep your head up
  • Quickly slap ground with palms
  • Breathe out
  • Fold your body (like an accordion!)


  • Lock joints
    • Elbows
    • Wrist
    • Shoulders

Falling Backward


  • Tuck chin
  • Round back
  • Squat
    • Bend hips
    • Bend knees
  • Keep arms out to the side
  • Slap palms on ground


  • Use extended arms to break your fall

Falling Sideways


  • Tuck chin
  • Grab opposite hip
  • Squat
  • Roll onto back
  • Slap ground with free hand


  • Extend your arm to break the fall
  • Fall directly onto hip

DPT Class of 2011 Presentation

Note: The embedded videos will not work in this PDF version, but they are the same as above.

Page last updated 9:27 AM, May 19, 2022