Avoiding Slip and Fall Accidents in the Winter
Slip and fall accidents can easily happen to anybody. It’s estimated that a million people are involved in slip and fall accidents every year. While many people involved in these accidents can get right back up again, others aren’t so lucky. Sometimes, these falls lead to serious spinal cord and brain injuries that leave people with permanent disabilities.
As we head into winter, the likelihood that you will be involved in a slip and fall accident goes up. With all the ice and snow that typically come along with a Michigan winter, it’s easy for anyone to take a wrong step and slip. Stay safe this winter and follow these tips to avoid being injured in a slip and fall accident.
Choose the Right Footwear
Begin by wearing the right footwear for walking in slippery grounds outside. It should be designed to enable high traction, warmth, and comfort. For instance, the soles of the shoes or the boots you wear should be waffled, heavily textured, or ridged. Avoid high heels, which are not only more difficult to walk in, they also often don’t have the type of traction that other boots and shoes can offer.
Be Careful How You Walk
If it’s slippery outside, always be sure to watch your step, especially if it’s dark and the lighting isn’t very good or you’re walking on a black paved surface like a parking lot. Concentrate on the path ahead and do not make sudden turns. Walk carefully and slowly with small steps to enhance stability. To help keep your balance, do not to put your hands in your pockets when walking. It will also enable you to use your arms or hands to protect yourself in case of a fall. Try to avoid carrying heavy loads on slippery ground as they can interfere with your balance and stability.
Caution in the Workplace
It is not possible to stop the weather, but you can exercise caution in your daily lives including the workplace. According to CDC, 15% of slip and fall accidents take place in the workplace. Be cautions when getting in and coming out of vehicles. If you’re an employer, be sure to stay on top of keeping your parking lot and walkways clear, but don’t forget your entrances, where snow and water can easily get tracked inside. Be prepared with proper signs, floor mats, and other tools to make sure your employees and your customers can get into the building safely.
General Precautionary Measures
Avoid slippery grounds altogether, such as wet leaves and snowy or icy surfaces, if possible. If you’re not sure how slippery a surface is, test it with your toe before putting the body’s full weight on it. It’s also important to do what you can to prevent slippery surfaces from forming on your property. Begin by clearing snow, wet leaves, and ice on your steps, driveways, and sidewalks. You can spread salt on ice if it becomes difficult to clear. Learn some proper salting and shoveling techniques early by taking advantage of the ongoing safety campaigns.
Forego some of the little luxuries that make your walks enjoyable to avoid distractions when walking. If possible, switch off your cell device; avoid texting or using mobile MP3 players when walking in the ice and snow.
In the Event of a Fall
After a slip, do not panic; there are a few things that can help reduce the extent of the injury. Use your hands to break the fall by ensuring you land on your arms so protect your head or back. People who are on blood thinners are at a higher risk of fatal injuries resulting from a fall, it is important to be careful and inform the doctor as soon as possible after a fall