Did you know that winter slips and falls are one of the top causes of work injuries in the Upper Midwest? While not all slips are preventable, many can be. We hope that our readers never have to endure one of these nasty spills, but knowing what precautions to take can help you in avoiding winter falls.
- Observe Your Surroundings: Sometimes there are obvious signs that the ground may be slippery, but many times ice will catch off guard. Be sure to walk slowly and carefully. It’s better to arrive a little late, than not arrive at all. Also, slippery surfaces are not just outside. When entering a building, watch for slippery spots where ice may have melted.
- Select Good Footwear: If you know that you will be walking in adverse conditions, choose to wear winter boots or other slip resistant footwear. A shoe with a mediocre sole can cause major problems.
- Keep Your Hands Empty: If your hands are in your pockets or you are carrying things, it reduces the ability to help you balance and catch yourself in the event that you fall. Use a backpack or other type of bag to contain your items and keep your hands empty.
- Steps Are Important: Sometimes walking on ice is unavoidable. If you must, remember to “walk like a penguin” with your feet as flat as possible.
- Be Careful Getting Out of Vehicles: Whether you are in your personal vehicle or your semi, remember to step down, not out. Not only could a wrong step hurt your feet, ankle, knees, & hips—it can also lead you to fall onto the ground and hurt other body parts.
- Be Prepared to Fall: It’s important that you are always prepared to fall in icy conditions. In the event of a slip or fall, avoid trying to catch yourself with your hands, and instead use your thigh, hips, and shoulders. Also make sure you roll with the fall, this will help stop you from landing straight on your face. One last tip when falling is to relax your body. This will help with elimination of injuries.
We hope you enjoyed “Avoiding Winter Falls.” For more tips on how to stay safe and healthy through the winter months, check out our blog on Staying Healthy Through Winter.