We might rely on a groundhog to tell us if spring will come early or if we will have six more weeks of winter, but scientifically speaking – cold weather is still upon us regardless of his shadow! We may have been lucky with the mild winter, but slip-and-fall accidents can happen anywhere. Below are some of our best tips to avoiding personal injuries from a slip-and-fall accident.
- Be aware of black ice: Especially during the night, black ice can be very difficult to spot. Black ice is typically one of the most dangerous winter conditions – especially when driving. Not only can an auto accident occur because of black ice, but you could slip-and-fall if someone did not properly maintain the ground. Make sure you only use pathways that have been cleared or have been treated with salt or sand.
- Use handrails when available: If you are walking outdoors and need to walk up a set of stairs to enter your destination, be sure to hold onto any rails that are available to you. If you slip on a slick step, the rail can prevent a dangerous fall and avoid any severe personal injuries.
- Pay attention to the path you are walking on: Even if a path has been shoveled or salted, there could still be some patches of ice hiding around. Try to take shorter steps, or the “penguin walk”, and walk at a slower pace. This will give you more time to react if do encounter an icy spot.
- Wear shoes that have good traction: many slip-and-fall accidents could be avoided if you are wearing shoes that have good gripping on the soles. It is recommended by The Occupational Safety and Health Administration to wear water-resistant boots or shoes, or shoes that have rubber treads on the bottom.
- Be careful when you are getting out of your car: there are multiple slip-and-fall accidents that happen when people are getting out of their cars. Uncovered parking lots can quickly become icy and slick when the temperature drops. Always look around your vehicle and be aware of black ice before you step out. If you get out of your car too quickly – you could lose footing and fall.
- Wipe your feet whenever you head inside: slip-and-fall accidents don’t just happen outside. Someone could have walked in after a snowy or rainy day and brought in water from their shoes, causing the floor to be wet. Sometimes, a business might not notice right away and not put up a wet sign until it is too late. By wiping your feet before you walk in, you can help keep the floors dry and safe.
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