2015 marked the very first NFSI Slip and Fall Prevention Symposium, featuring speakers from a broad range of backgrounds and subject expertise. Hosted in Atlanta, GA by Emory University, event highlights include an insightful presentation by Keynote Speaker: Ralph Nader. People who have had a personal injury happen to them and it wasn’t their fault, be it bad signage, no proper notification in place, etc. can go and present their case to attorneys like SuperLawyers Ronemus & Vilensky to see how they can help the person who has been injured. No matter how you are injured there are lawyers out there who can help you when you need it most, whether that be a head injury case or a spinal cord injury case, they are there to have your best interests at heart and try to get you the results that you want. Also, it may be worth looking at Quirk Law Group’s report on personal injury settlements and some of the average figures that come as a result, if you want to get your eye in.

The NFSI has made recorded videos of the event available to stream online to those who purchase access. You may purchase access by visiting our Store page, or clicking the video you wish to purchase below to view the product page for that session.


Video Stream Links:

(If access has not been previously purchased the links below will not display the associated video. Access must be purchased to stream each session)

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

Session 4

Session 5

Session 6

Session 7

Session 8

Keynote Presentation

(click each session to view additional details)

Session 1: Presentation by Program MC - Russell J. Kendzior


With over 20 years of experience preventing slips, trips, and falls, Russ Kendzior is the Traction Expert! Russ Kendzior is one of the nation’s leading slip, trip, and fall experts and has been retained in more than 450 lawsuits representing both Plaintiffs and Defendants. He is the Founder and President of the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) and serves as Secretary of the ANSI B101 Committee which is responsible for developing standards for the prevention of slips, trips, and falls. Russ is often referred to as “the slip-and-fall guy” has appeared on numerous television and radio shows such as “Inside Edition”, “ABC News Good Morning America”, “ABC News What Would You Do”, and has been the subject of a mini-documentary on floor safety which was broadcast on PBS stations nationwide.

Session 1: Topic: Flooring Products, Testing, Slip Resistance and Specifications! How can designers and owners select the appropriate flooring materials when the flooring industry is inconsistent in the presentation of criteria?

With any floor covering, identifying criteria for that surface and the environment in which it is located represents a first step in an exploration of appropriate products that can meet and /or exceed those criteria.

Criteria fall into many categories: aesthetics, color, pattern, ambiance, performance, durability, longevity, hardness, slip resistance, maintenance, fire resistance, substrate, expansion/contraction, joints, substrate, setting method/materials, lippage, warpage, code, availability and on and on. As designers, we are called upon to weigh through the multiplicity of choices and to achieve a balance of these consideration in concert and in agreement with our client.

Having relevant information provided by manufacturers is paramount in the exploration, selection and specification process of appropriate products. Not all manufacturers provide relevant information in connection with a material’s slip resistance testing, characteristics and recommended maintenance.

The speakers will address challenges faced by the design community as it relates to exploring, selecting and specifying floor covering products.”

Presented by Steve Spencer and Marc Adelman

Property of TVS, Inc.

Marc K. Adelman AIA CFM CCS,Principal with TVS Design – Marc brings to tvsdesign over 30 years of experience in design, project management and strategic direction for a variety of clients. Marc’s industry involvement in leadership roles, both locally and nationally, with IFMA, The IFMA Foundation, The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) has made him a leader in the industry. Additionally, he has contributed his skills to a variety of not-for-profit community and national organizations.

SONY DSCSteve Spencer – Steve joined State Farm in 1994 as a specialist in cleaning and interior maintenance. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois and a member of IFMA, ISSA and serves on the End-User Advisory Council for Invista, National Floor Safety Institute Board and is chairman of the ANSI B101.1 committee. With more than thirty years of experience, he is a source for all cleaning questions and interior finish specifications in State Farm’s facilities. Steve teaches the General Maintenance School and provides training and consulting for State Farm’s underwriting and claims departments. Steve is responsible for all facility cleaning contract specifications and implementation. He developed and implemented Daytime and Daytime/Cooperative cleaning programs at State Farm, the first beginning in 2000. Currently 28 buildings representing more than 10,000,000 square feet are experiencing substantial savings on cleaning and energy costs. Steve has also facilitated the implementation of daytime cleaning in a number of other facilities outside of State Farm. Steve has written articles for Contracting Profits, Cleaning & Maintenance Management, Housekeeping Solutions, Maintenance Solutions, Buildings, Building Operations Management and ISSA Today magazines. He has been a speaker for ASSE, National Safety Council Congress, Antron, BSCAI, IFMA, NeoCon, ISSA, TFM, NFM&T, APPA, VPPPA, Facilities Midwest and several Universities.

Session 2: Topic: Empathy

My presentation makes an argument for adopting a broad understanding of empathy for the purposes of identifying the multiple ways we experience empathy and for explicating how radically different modes of empathy are necessary for addressing pressing social problems. Specifically, I will show how these different types of empathy relate to slip, trip, and fall prevention and argue why a broad understanding of empathy allows us to create numerous strategies that will prevent future accidents.

Presented by Dr. Mark Fagiano


Mark Fagiano is an American philosopher and visiting assistant professor at Emory University. His first book, Pragmatism about Race (IUP, 2015) addresses the role of philosophy in race theory and offers a philosophical and historical account of race thinking. The main purpose of this book is explain why a relationalistic and melioristic account of race helps us both to address the ambiguity of racial categories and to attack persisting social-structural racisms. His current work explores philosophical accounts of empathy, how we might nurture the skill of empathy, and why the creation of widespread empathy within organizations and communities is crucial both for their flourishing and for addressing larger issues of social justice.

Session 3: Topic: The Injury from Falls Epidemic: A Medical Perspective

The incidence and impact of injuries from falls has been, and is a growing problem that has a profound impact on individual and community health as well as a substantial impact on our medical system that effects cost and delivery of care. Dr. Harris will discuss this every growing problem faced by our medical community and the need for change to reduce the burden of unnecessary injuries on the individual, our communities and our health care system.

Present by Dr. Howard W. Harris


Dr. Howard Harris – Dr. Howard Harris is a highly regarded expert in shoulder repair and reconstruction. Whether you are suffering from shoulder arthritis, pain and instability, sports injury or fracture, his training and experience can diagnosis, treat and manage your issue to get you back to the activities you love. Dr. Harris was born and raised in North Texas. He received his undergraduate degrees from Southern Methodist University and then attended medical school at The University of Texas Southwestern. From there he underwent an orthopedic surgery internship and residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Harris obtained additional fellowship training at the internationally renowned American Sports Medicine Institute with Dr. James Andrews and Dr. William Clancy as well as orthopedic trauma training in Hanover and Berlin, Germany. Dr. Harris is Board Certified with the American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons and Sub-specialty Board Certified in Orthopedic Sports Medicine. He is licensed in the state of Texas and is a diplomat of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, member of the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine and the Orthopedic Trauma Association. His practice and expertise focus on shoulder pain and treatment as well as sports related injuries, dysfunction and arthritis of the shoulder.

Session 4:Topic: Measuring the Risk of Slips and Falls: An Injury Reduction Study Using Tribometry

Can on-site coefficient of friction measurements serve as a reliable predictive model for identifying slip and fall risks? What is the relationship between a floor’s slip resistance and the rate of injury claims? Learn how one insurance company implemented the walkway standard and co-efficient of friction as a risk management tool for reducing slips and falls.

Presented by Shari Falkenburg


Shari Falkenburg is the current CNA Risk Control – Assistant Vice President. With over 30 years of experience in the Insurance Industry, Ms. Falkenburg has worked forEORM – Environmental & Occupational Risk Management, URS Corporation, Rolling Meadows, Aon Corporation and Kemper Insurance/NATLSCO. Her Areas of Expertise includeCommercial P&C, Environmental, Health & Safety, Ergonomics, ISO14001, OHSAS 18000 and Six Sigma/Lean Manufacturing. Mr. Falkenburg received her Bachelors of Science in Occupational Therapy from Mount Mary College of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and her Masters in Business Management from Cardinal Stritch College of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She holds the following Professional Designations: UL RRE (Recognized Risk Engineer), Board Certified as an Occupational Therapist – OTR, Board Certified as an Ergonomist – CPE, 18001 Lead Auditor, Green Belt Six Sigma and NFSI Walkway Auditor.

Session 5: Topic: Mats Prevent Accidents Before the Happen

In almost every case, the cause or multiple origins of Slip, Trip & Fall accidents could have been identified before they happened and oftentimes prevented. Recognizing hazards, or Seeing Accidents before They Happen, is the focus of this program. Attendees will learn some common causes of accidents and how to develop safety awareness procedures to identify them. It is increasingly important for all businesses to take responsibility for the safety of employees, and customers. By using proper matting products and techniques, serious slip and fall injuries can be avoided.

Presented by David Watterson


David Watterson has over 25 years of sales, marketing and customer service to the mat industry. He is currently the Vice President of International Sales and works within our North American and European base. Since 1963, Mountville Mills has produced the finest, most technologically advanced industrial mats in the marketplace. Their wide range of mat products includes: Custom Logo mats to enhance corporate image; Safety Mats that visually deliver safety messages and help keep floors dry; Anti-fatigue mats to increase employee mo and productivity; and SuperScrape™ mats to provide a safe, slip resistant entrance.

Session 6: Topic: The Legal versus Moral Implications of Safety: Why We Should Live Like Every Life Matters

During this session, Sarah Svensen Bennah will journey through the legal, moral, and profoundly personal impact that not paying attention to our surroundings can have on the lives around us. Specifically, Sarah will discuss our individual responsibility with regard to safety, and she will tell her personal safety story, including how one event in Haiti changed her perspective on life and what it means to be a Good Samaritan. Through her story, Sarah will also discuss the philosophical and practical implications of caring for those around us and what it means to cultivate a safety-conscious culture. Specifically, Sarah will address why “caring is cool” and how it can be lucrative for all of us.

Presented by Sarah Svensen Bennah


Sarah Svensen Bennah is a lawyer by training, a career coach in practice, and a hopeful community change-maker at heart. Sarah earned her Bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, at the University of Arizona and her law degree from Harvard Law School with honors in 2007. After law school, she clerked for Judge Julie E. Carnes in the Northern District of Georgia and practiced commercial litigation at Sullivan and Cromwell in New York City. After practicing law, Sarah made a powerful personal decision to leave her practice and move to Haiti with her husband in 2011 to build schools and water filters after the earthquake of 2010. Through her experiences in Haiti, Sarah developed a passion for inspiring and empowering people to make positive change in their own lives and in the lives of those around them. Since returning from Haiti, Sarah has served as Associate Director of the Center for Professional Development and Career Strategy at Emory Law School. Sarah also runs growing GOOD Inc., an Atlanta-based philanthropic organization that inspires and equips change-makers by engaging them in their areas of passion and teaching them to help members of their community while avoiding the pitfalls of traditional charity models. Sarah lives in Decatur, Georgia with her husband and English bulldog, Turkey.

Session 7: Topic: OSHA Update:Walking & Working Surfaces And Other Recent Standard, Regulation and Program Changes.

This program will examine the current OSHA walking and working surface requirements and the status of current rulemaking to revise this standard. In addition, the session will discuss other recent changes implemented in standards, regulations and programs under the oversight of OSHA. These will include changes to the recordkeeping and hazard communication standards. The program will also review current standard rulemaking and what new standards most likely will become final rules before the end of the Obama administration. Finally, the session will look at new OSHA emphasis programs, interpretation of standards and OSHA’s added emphasis on enforcement and whistleblower complaints.

Presented by Edwin Foulke

Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. - Fisher & Phillips Shot November 17, 2008

Mr. Ed Foulke, Partner in the Atlanta and Washington, D.C. offices of Fisher & Phillips, LLP. Co-chair of the firm’s Workplace Safety and Catastrophe Management Practice Group. Prior to joining Fisher & Phillips, Mr. Fouke was the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. Named by President George W. Bush to head OSHA, he served from April 2006 to November 2008. During his tenure at OSHA, workplace injury, illness and fatality rates dropped to their lowest levels in recorded history. For more than 30 years, Ed has worked in the labor and employment area, focusing on occupational safety and health issues, workplace violence risk assessment and prevention, whistleblower protection, and accident and fatality prevention. He also served on the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission in Washington, D.C., chairing the Commission from March 1990 to February 1994. Ed was named one of the “50 Most Influential EHS Leaders” by both EHS Today (2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013) and Occupational Hazards (2008) magazines.

Session 8: Topic: Navigating The Murky Waters of Legal Liability After Constructing The Good Ship - Safe Passage

Achieving successful implementation of proven approaches to walkway safety from a well-defined corporate mandate through claims resolution to assure just and responsible corporate conduct that respects human dignity without becoming a target for lawsuits.

Presented by Debra Cook


Debra Cook focuses her practice primarily in insurance tort and contract actions representing both Plaintiffs and Defendants in litigation in state and federal courts, including trial work and appeals. She has defended commercial clients in personal injury walkway surface claims as well as managed the disposition of walkway surface claims against the leading manufacturer and distributor of tile and stone surfaces in the United States. Additionally, she has prosecuted insurance bad faith claims and other commercial contract claims in state and federal court. She was on the trial team that prosecuted an insurance contract and bad faith claim to jury verdict and the later appeal and cross appeal.

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Cook worked as a litigation associate with a regional firm in Los Angeles County, where she litigated disputes for companies involving business torts, personal injury, and breach of contract claims. Ms. Cook has argued several arbitration disputes to disposition. In addition, Ms. Cook was the Risk Manager for Dal-Tile Corporation, the leading supplier of tile and stone products in the United States, overseeing eight trial defense verdicts.

Ms. Cook graduated summa cum laude from Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois with a B.S. in Accountancy in 1987. She became a licensed Certified Public Accountant in Texas and Certified Management Accountant and worked for Price Waterhouse specializing in the audits of insurance company reserves. Afterwards, Ms. Cook developed her expertise in the analysis and management of risk, obtaining a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (CPCU) certification and an Associate in Risk Management (ARM) certification. She graduated magna cum laude with a J.D. from Oak Brooke College of Law in 2007.

Ms. Cook is admitted to practice law in California and before the United States District Courts for the Central, Northern, Southern, and Eastern Districts of California. In 2014, Ms. Cook was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court.

NFSI / Emory University Keynote speaker

7:00 pm

Title: A Brave New and Improved World: 50 Years of Fighting For You.

In this presentation, Ralph takes listeners on his 50 year journey as a consumer advocate and insider and is able to create a big picture for the audience of how this country has changed and adapted over the years. He then reveals trends that affected business then, and how these cyclical trends will affect you in the future, as new walkway safety standards are put in place and policies put into law.

presented by Ralph Nader:


Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer, and author. He was born in Winsted, Connecticut on February 27, 1934. In 1955 Ralph Nader received an AB magna cum laude from Princeton University, and in 1958 he received a LLB with distinction from Harvard University. His career began as a lawyer in Hartford, Connecticut in 1959 and from 1961-63 he lectured on history and government at the University of Hartford.

In 1965-66 he received the Nieman Fellows award and was named one of ten Outstanding Young Men of Year by the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1967. Between 1967-1968, he returned to Princeton as a lecturer, and he continues to speak at colleges and universities across the United States.

In his career as consumer advocate he founded many organizations including the Center for Study of Responsive Law, the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), the Center for Auto Safety, Public Citizen, Clean Water Action Project, the Disability Rights Center, the Pension Rights Center, and the Project for Corporate Responsibility and The Multinational Monitor (a monthly magazine).