12 Winter Safety Tips to Avoid Slip and Falls
This winter has been a tough one across the United States. While the snow may look pretty, the freezing rain and ice it brings along with it creates a hazard-filled winter wonderland. Slipping on snow or ice is sometimes unavoidable and has the potential to be extremely dangerous. Alarmingly, according to the NASDA, slip and falls account for 300,000 serious injuries and are the root of 20,000 deaths a year. Ensure your safety and utilize these slip and fall prevention strategies.
- Wear adequate footwear. Winter boots may be clunky and unfashionable, but impractical footwear is not worth risking a broken hip. Be sure to wear shoes that provide you with the proper traction – so if you do hit a patch of ice unexpectedly, you’re prepared.
- Use walkways that have been shoveled or salted. Say you see a “shortcut” but you have to walk through a snow pile – you never know if there’s ice underneath the snow, which could cause you to fall. Play it safe – use the cleanest block possible, even if it seems like it may be out of your way.
- Don’t run. Leave extra time to travel to your destination so you don’t need to rush. Always walk slowly and never run on an area of snow or ice.
- See ice? Test it! Before you walk across a path, test the ice for slickness by simply sliding your shoe or boot across it before proceeding. What looks like ice could be a puddle of slushy mess, and what appears as water could be very slick black ice.
- Entering and exiting a vehicle. Lean across the vehicle for support. During these winter months, its important to be careful and never jump from a vehicle, as you may not land as planned.
- Entering a building. Remove your snow-covered shoes. You’ll not only track in salt, but you’ll track in slush – creating dangerous, slippery conditions indoors.
- Spread salt. Sometimes there will be areas of highly concentrated salt. Spread the salt with your shoe and you’ll be doing your part to reduce the number of falls.
- Don’t carry heavy items. When you’re walking on snow or ice, it’s always a bad idea to carry a heavy load. If you feel yourself falling it’ll be harder to catch your balance. On the chance you are carrying something heavier and you feel yourself begin to fall, drop the items so that you may catch yourself.
- Keep your balance. It’s temping to keep your hands in your jacket pockets while on walks – but just in case you start to fall, it’s easier to break your fall and act quicker with your hands out.
- Help the elderly. Slip and falls are dangerous for everyone, but the hazards are even greater for seniors –lend a helping hand when you can.
- Shovel your walk. Not only for your own safety, but others too. It’s common courtesy to make sure your sidewalk and driveway are adequately cleared to prevent slip and fall for your family, guests, neighbors, postal workers, service providers, and others who may be visiting.
Remove debris from your property. The weight of snow or ice can cause power cords to fall or branches to break, creating a hazard for you and neighbors