Safety Tip of the Week

This week Wendy Couture, the district’s safety and risk reduction manager, shares tips about how to avoid winter falls. 

Avoiding Winter Falls

Walking to and from parking lots or between buildings at work during the winter requires special attention to avoid slipping and falling. Slips and falls are some of the most frequent types of injuries that occur during the winter months.

Winter-related slips and falls claims doubled across the country in 2013-14 over the previous year, representing 29 percent of all workers’ compensation claims, according to Accident Fund Insurance Company of America and United Heartland.

Winter-related slips and falls can have a significant negative impact on employees each year, often resulting in time off work, medical costs and potentially reduced income.  To avoid these negative impacts this winter, we need to be vigilant and exercise caution in the months ahead.

Simple Tips to Avoid Injury

To help avoid injury when walking on ice and and slippery surfaces, either outside in the parking lot or on the wet floor when entering buildings, follow these simple tips:

  • Walk slowly and deliberately and wear boots or other slip-resistant footwear.
  • Be prepared for black-ice formation after melting occurs.
  • Exercise caution when getting in and out of vehicles.
  • Watch for slippery floors when entering buildings.
  • Avoid carrying items. Keep hands empty so arms are free to move for stabilization. Use backpacks if possible.
  • Use handrails if available.
  • Walk in designated walkways as much as possible.

No matter how well snow and ice is removed from parking lots and sidewalks, people will still encounter some slippery surfaces when walking outdoors in the winter. It is important for everyone to be aware of the dangers and walk carefully.