The vast majority of us have experienced firsthand or seen somebody take a painful fall in the winter. Winter slips and falls can happen Regardless of whether it's almost imperceptible ice on your entryway steps or that tricky oily floor surface close to a passage to the outside world that could serve as a hockey arena, the potential outcomes of ending up on your back more than your feet this winter appear to be interminable.
All over the United States and Canada, slips and falls are the reason for over 300,000 serious wounds and 20,000 deaths per year. The level of these cases is marginally higher in zones with extreme winter climate: for instance, during a year ago's abnormally troublesome winter, 33% of labourer's remuneration cases recorded in the Midwest referred to slipping and falling as the reason for their wounds and lost time from work. Altogether, slip and fall cases represent 64% of all winter climate damage guarantees, a number that has all the earmarks of being developing: from 2013-2014, the quantity of these multiplied from the earlier year, making up 29% of all specialist's remuneration cases documented over the period of the season.
Keep these 10 tips in mind to help reduce the chances slips and falls this winter:
- Parking lots are one of the most common places for people to fall in the winter, so be extra careful when getting in and out of vehicles and moving across icy parking lots. Whenever possible, utilize the vehicle for help and stability when entering and exiting.
- Keep in mind: Ice and snow mean "move slowly!". Take your time and move carefully on slippery surfaces.
- Wear the right footwear with good treads and winter ice cleats. Ice grips with ice piercing spikes are a great way to help improve traction on icy and snow.
- Watch for slippery surfaces when you are entering or exiting your home, office or the shopping mall. Often high traffic entryways are prone to becoming slippery as the snow is compacted.
- Try to avoid carrying too much in hands or overloading yourself with heavy bags. Carrying too much will reduce your ability to keep your balance and slow your reaction speed in the event of a slip. Best practice during the icy winter months is to keep it simple and carry only a shoulder bag or backpack with minimal weight.
- Watch out for black ice, especially at night or in low light visibility conditions when you are least expecting it.
- Report any slippery untreated surfaces to your local municipality or building’s maintenance team. Awareness and prevention are key for helping to reduce injuries from slips and falls in the winter.
- When in doubt about whether or not a surface is slippery, tap or slide your foot on the surface before proceeding.
- Walk as level footed as possible when moving over icy surfaces and try to keep your weight centered and balanced.
- Try to avoid uneven surfaces and stairs with ice on them. Better to take the long way rather than risk and injury climbing a dangerously icy stairway.
Slips and falls can occur anywhere, therefore during the winter months it is important to stay vigilant and to be careful when moving on slippery surfaces.