Slip, trip and fall incidents result in some of the most common workplace injuries. The risk of falling outdoors increases in the winter as temperatures drop and ice and snow accumulate across parking lots and driveways.
A few points to keep in mind as the risk increases:
- Plan for the weather by wearing appropriate footwear – even if you're only going across the parking lot and into the building, wear a low heel boot or shoe with good tread made for outdoor winter weather. You can carry in high heels or leather soled shoes and put them on when indoors.
- When walking on ice and snow covered parking lots or walkways take short steps and walk at a slower pace so you can react appropriately to quick changes in traction. Walk like a penguin!
- Always use handrails when walking up or down steps. Take your time and plant your feet firmly on each step.
- Use caution when exiting or entering your vehicle – use the door handles and vehicle itself for support if needed.
- Even if parking lots or walkways have been cleared of snow – beware – there still could be "black ice." Water can refreeze and create a very slippery layer of ice that can be treacherous.
- Try not to carry too much when walking in inclement conditions – keep your hands and arms free to help maintain your balance if needed.
- Once you get into your building safely, be sure to remove as much of the snow and water from your boots/shoes as possible. If you have dry shoes to change into, do it as soon as you can safely sit in a chair, out of the way of other pedestrian traffic.
- Driving surfaces are more treacherous from ice and snow as well; take your time – plus extra if the weather calls for it. Make sure you slow down at pedestrian crossings and always pay attention to the speed limit.
- While driving in parking lots, watch for people and other vehicles.
Be Aware, Be Safe!