By Bob Brokaw, Safety Manager Children’s Minnesota
Spring is here! However, as our temperatures fluctuate, the number of slips and falls rise. Winter’s wet and icy conditions can be dangerous especially with the freeze thaw cycles of spring. We all need to take the right precautions to prevent from falling.
Use these suggestions to help keep you slip-and-fall-free this spring:
- Don’t get caught by surprise. Monitor weather conditions.
- Wear appropriate winter footwear that is well-insulated, waterproof, has a non-slip, thick sole and a wide, low heel. Ice grippers can also improve walking on ice and snow (bring shoes to change into).
- Use walkways that have been salted or shoveled.
- Test your travel path for slickness by sliding your shoe/boot on it before proceeding.
- Do the penguin shuffle.
- Walk flat footed.
- Take short steps to maintain your center of balance over your feet.
- Keep your head up and don’t lead forward.
- Walk slowly.
- When entering or exiting vehicles, use the vehicle for support.
- When entering a building, remove snow and water from footwear so as not to create wet, slippery conditions indoors.
- Be careful of transitions like sidewalk to step, use handrails when available.
Hazards to watch for
Remember, while snow falls gently, people don’t. Be on the lookout for fall hazards. Here are just a few:
- Slippery surfaces due to water, ice or snow from footwear
- Snowy and ice-covered sidewalks and parking ramps
- Freeze and thaw cycles
- Melted snow or ice
- Black ice – a thin, nearly invisible coating of ice caused when temperatures rise above freezing and quickly drop below freezing
- Obstructed sidewalks and roadways
- Packages, bags too large to carry that can affect one’s balance or obstruct view