Take precautions to avoid injury this winter
January 21, 2013
With the snow showers in the forecast this week, it’s a perfect time to remind ourselves of winter safety measures.
According to the Workers Compensation Fund, nearly 80% of slips and falls are due to snow and ice in parking lots and on sidewalks, especially during morning hours.
Gillian Mosier, RN, Backus Trauma Manager said we can avoid becoming part of this statistic by following some simple safety tips:
- Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid the temptation of rushing, it could save you from a dangerous slip.
- Wear shoes with grip soles. Shoes that have flat or smooth bottoms increase your risk for falls.
- Ice traction slip-ons are a good option to assist on icy surfaces.
- If you do walk in the early morning before the sun has melted the ice, bring your cell phone with you in case you have to make an emergency call.
- Avoid uneven surfaces.
- Use handrails, if available.
- When you get out of your car, look down at the surface you’re on, make sure it is free of ice. Use your car as support if need be.
- Help maintain your body’s balance by keeping your arms out.
- Practice good walking procedures — take small, shuffling steps.
- Remove snow from walkways and driveways before it becomes compacted, then apply sand and salt. This helps prevent ice from forming.
- If you do happen to fall, try to roll into a ball as best you can, this will help minimize injury.
Together, ice and snow are a formula for catastrophe. Do your best to avoid slips and falls by being alert and making good safety decisions.