Slippery winter weather increases your risk of slip and fall accidents; stay upright this season by knowing the hazards.
Whenever the winter season comes around, the risk of slip and fall accidents increases significantly. With ice, snow, and slush on the ground, we have to be extra patient and careful in our commutes. An occasional fall here and there may be minor – you’re able to laugh it off and go about your day with only maybe a sore tailbone to show for it. However, all it takes is one severe fall to cause serious personal injury. It’s essential to take extra precautions during the winter and be aware of the hazards that put you at risk for slip and fall accidents.
The hazards to be on the lookout for:
- Black ice
- Snow, ice, or slush on the ground
- Stairs, ramps, and other elevated surfaces (with and without handrails)
- Hills and other challenging terrains
- Steel grates or other obstacles covered by snow
- Areas that have little to no lighting
- Carpets, mats, rugs, and other floor coverings that may slip
Preventing winter slip and fall accidents outdoors
Wear the proper footwear
As soon as the weather starts to get colder, it would be best if you had your winter gear ready to go. Ensure that you have shoes that are slip-resistant and meant for colder weather. They may not be the most fashionable shoes out there, but they’ll do the job and prevent slip and fall accidents better than any other.
Slow and steady wins the race
Ice can hide under the snow, or you may not notice black ice on the road right away. You should always walk with caution if you’re unsure. Take it slow, take small steps, and if you do have to walk over a slippery surface – walk like a penguin.
Maintain your driveways and walkways
Be sure to shovel snow and sprinkle salt on the driveways and walkways of your home. Not only will this reduce your risk of slip and fall accidents but your guests’ as well. If you live in a rental property, determine whether it’s your or your landlord’s responsibility to maintain.
Be prepared to fall
We want to avoid slip and fall accidents as much as possible, but sometimes they’re inevitable. Always be prepared to fall even when you’re taking all necessary precautions. If you do slip, tuck your chin into your chest to avoid hitting your head and try not to use your arms to break your fall.
Preventing winter sip and fall accidents indoors
Whether you’re in your own home or somewhere else, be wary of floor coverings that may slip. To prevent this from happening at home, opt for non-slip mats or buy anti-slip pads to keep rugs, carpets, and mats in place.
Wiping shoes or leaving them outside
Walking on floors with wet shoes is not a good combination. It’s best to leave your wet and snowy shoes outside the door if possible. If that’s not possible, wipe your shoes thoroughly before entering.
Cleaning up right away
If you, your children or your pets track snow or slush inside, make sure to clean it up right away to prevent slip and fall accidents.
Slip and fall accidents are a danger to everyone; however, some people may be more vulnerable than others. Please consult your physician to determine whether you may be at a greater risk of sustaining an injury from a fall. They will advise you on the best preventative measures to take.