Avoiding Slips and Falls In Bad Weather
January 7, 2015 | by Valerie Michel Buck
Cold weather can bring more than just a white Christmas. It also brings a number of hazards which can cause slips and falls. Here are some ways to avoid slips and falls.
Wearing proper footwear is an easy way to prevent slipping.
Parking and walking on flat surfaces can help prevent slipping. Avoid parking or walking on an angle if possible.
Textured surfaces may harbor ice without making it too slippery for the person walking on it.
Walking near handrails indicates you are on a walking path but may also save you in case you do slip and fall.
Bring Extra Shoes if Needed
If you have to wear dress shoes, bring a good pair of outdoor shoes to change into.
Walk slowly and pay attention to the areas around you.
Walk Like A Penguin
Point your feet out slightly like a penguin, this changes your center of gravity. [i]
Bend slightly and walk flat-footed with your center of gravity directly over the feet as much as possible. [i]
Extend Your Arms
Extend your arms out to your sides to maintain balance. Do not put your hands in your pockets or carry anything with your hands, this may leave you heavier on one side and leave you extremely venerable to slips.
Remove Debris Indoor
Remove as much snow and water from your shoes when going indoors. This will prevent standing water and therefore you or someone else slipping on that standing water.
Walk in areas were lighting is good enough for your to see the surrounding area.
Wearing a bulky bright coat won't prevent you from slipping and falling but may prevent injury if you do fall. The bright color will make sure you can be seen by others.
Don't Go Out
Life happens and sometimes we can't put appointments off, but if you can, avoid going out when the weather is bad or later in the afternoon when it has warmed a little. Rescheduling appointments or cancelling due to bad weather is not just for you but for the good of everyone. Everyone would rather you show up than try to make it and be injured.
If you do fall:
Avoid landing on bony parts of your body, such as your knees, wrists or even your spine. If you can, land on more fleshy parts of your body such as your behind. Relaxing your muscles and not tensing up may make your fall less painful and prevent further injury. If you ball backward, tuck your chin in as much as possible to avoid hitting your head on the ground.
Happy and safe walking.