Avoiding Slips and Falls this Winter
To prevent slips, trips, and falls, employers should clear walking surfaces of snow and ice, and spread deicer, as quickly as possible after a winter storm. In addition, the following precautions will help reduce the likelihood of injuries:
Wear proper footwear when walking on snow or ice is unavoidable, because it is especially treacherous. A pair of insulated and water resistant boots with good rubber treads is a must for walking during or after a winter storm. Keeping a pair of rubber over-shoes with good treads which fit over your street shoes is a good idea during the winter months. Take short steps and walk at a slower pace so you can react quickly to a change in traction, when walking on an icy or snow-covered walkway.
When given no choice but to walk on ice, consider the following:
- Take short steps or shuffle for stability
- Bend slightly, walk flat-footed with your center of gravity directly over the feet as much as possible
- Be prepared to fall
- If you fall, fall with sequential contacts at your thigh, hip and shoulder to avoid using your arms to protect against breakage
- Roll with the fall. Try to twist and roll backwards, rather than falling forward
- Relax as much as possible when you begin to fall
- Bend your back and head forward so you won’t slam your head on the pavement as your feet shoot out from under you.
- Toss the load you are carrying. Protect yourself instead of the objects being carried.