Winter brings additional hazards when engaging in your normal activities that can cause serious injuries. Wrenched muscles, broken bones and dislocations are common problems that occur during winter weather. Snow, ice and moisture can cause slip & fall injuries that can result in medical expenses, loss of wages and difficulties doing everyday tasks. Here are a few ways you can protect yourself from slips and falls when winter weather creates a hazardous mess.
Make a conscious effort to slow your normal walking speed to avoid slips on icy surfaces. If you give yourself additional time to get to where you need to go, you will be able to make this adjustment in speed without disrupting your daily activities.
In dry weather, you may be able to take the steps into a building without using the handrail for support. However, in snowy or icy conditions, the handrail can provide additional stabilization to help you avoid falls. Fences and other nearby supports can also be used to aid your balance on icy sidewalks.
You can better navigate icy surfaces if you bend your knees and use shorter steps than normal, as well as adjust your pace to a slower speed. These measures will give you a more stable foothold and will allow you to adjust your balance as needed on slippery sidewalks.
"Black ice" occurs when a thin layer of clear ice forms on the top of a road or sidewalk that shows the surface below. It is often mentioned as a hazard of driving in winter, but it can also present a danger when walking. Stay alert to changes in surface conditions as you walk along so that you can avoid this hazard and get to your destination safely.
An article at SafetyToolboxTopics.com notes that carrying heavy boxes or bags changes your center of gravity, making you more prone to falls on slippery surfaces. Try to carry smaller loads to prevent becoming off-balance on hazardous sidewalks and stairs.
The danger of slipping and falling is not over when you reach the interior of a building. Snow and ice accumulations on the bottom of your shoes or boots can still present a problem for normal walking. Most buildings provide matting when entering a building that you can use to scrape or wipe the bottoms of your footwear to knock off lingering snow or ice. Take the time to do this extra measure to prevent slips and falls.
Getting into or out of your car is normally an action people take without thinking. However, snow and ice underfoot can make this action particularly hazardous. Take the time to secure your footing, and use handles and other parts of the vehicle to stabilize your movements as you enter and exit.
These tips can help you avoid the common injuries that result from accumulations of snow, ice, and moisture that a part of surviving winter's worst. If you do unfortunately suffer a slip & fall injury, the legal team here at Carter Mario is always available to talk to you about your legal options.