Preventing Winter Slip and Falls

The cold weather is here and that means so is snow and ice. We have talked about safety precautions while driving in these conditions but wanted to talk about safety precautions while walking as well to decrease the number of slip and falls this winter. 

Living in the midwest means you know what it is like to walk down an icy pave way or snow packed street. Whether you’re on a walk or just stepping out of the car if its icy outside—slipping is common.

More people than you think are treated for a slip and fall. In fact, “About 9.2 million people were treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries in 2016”. Winter weather just increases the chance of these incidents. 

Tips to avoid slip and falls:

Princeton University’s Office of Environmental Safety and Pedestrian Safety Committee shared a list of tips for avoiding slip and falls in winter conditions:

  • Select appropriate footwear.  There is no single shoe sole material that is perfect under all conditions; however, footwear with rubber or neoprene composite soles provides better traction on ice and snow than leather or plastic.
  • Think about the best route to your destination and plan on a little extra time to get there.  Avoid rushing, taking shortcuts over snow piles or traversing areas where snow or ice removal is incomplete.
  • If you have no choice but to walk on a slippery surface, bend slightly forward and shorten your stride or shuffle your feet for better stability.
  • Many slips and falls occur during entry or exit from vehicles.  Be particularly careful and hold on to the vehicle for support.
  • Observe caution when walking or driving around snow removal equipment.  They often come to sudden stops and the operator may have limited visibility.

When entering a building, be sure to:

  • Take advantage of floor mats to remove moisture from the soles of your shoes.  This will help protect you, as well as others who follow, from having to walk on wet or slippery surfaces.
  • Avoid walking on wet or slippery areas if possible.
  • Take responsibility for immediately reporting slippery conditions and fall hazards.

If you are injured in a slip and fall caused by winter conditions and a negligent property owner feel free to call us here at Glisson Law for a consultation. Stay safe this winter season!