The risk of slipping, tripping, and falling increases dramatically during winter months. To help you stay safe this season, here are 10 winter safety tips to prevent slips, trips and falls:
- Use special care when getting in and out of vehicles. Try to park your vehicle in a clear area and watch where you step as you get in or out.
- Avoid carrying items that reduce your ability to see the ground in front of you. Whether it’s one big item or five small ones, ask for help or take multiple trips so that you are never obstructing your sight.
- Scan the path six or more feet ahead of you for trip hazards. Make sure your route ahead is clear of hazards such as rocks, clumps of snow, or a stray branch.
- Walk slowly and take small steps. Walking slowly and taking small steps will help you maintain your balance.
- Wear footwear that has slip-resistant soles. As the name indicates, slip-resistant soles lessen your chance of slipping on ice, snow, or water.
- Plan ahead and give yourself sufficient time to get where you need to go. Whether walking or driving, leave your current location 5-10 minutes early in case roads and sidewalks are covered with snow and ice.
- If you do happen to slip, try to avoid using your arms to break your fall. Also, if you fall backward, tuck your chin into your chest to prevent hitting your head against the ground.
- Watch out for black ice when walking. Try tapping your foot on potentially slick areas to see if they are safe to walk on. If not, find another route to take.
- Use your vehicle for support when entering and exiting. If you’re parked in a potentially slick area, be sure to hold onto your car when entering and exiting so you can maintain your balance.
- When entering a building, be sure to wipe your feet. Removing as much snow and water as possible from your shoes will decrease your chance of slipping when walking around inside.
Reprinted from MSA The Safety Company, a global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products that protect people, and facility infrastructures.