Watch out! Avoid icy slips and falls
Slips and falls on icy sidewalks and parking lots are common, dangerous and often completely preventable if you take proactive steps to address the issue. There are two main ways you can keep people safe from slipping on your property—taking steps as an organization to protect people, and sharing strategies with people so they can protect themselves.
Here, Church Mutual provides tips for both:
Protecting people on your property
- Establish a process for clearing ice and snow. When conditions become snowy or slippery, you should have people within your organization—or an outside company—designated to remove ice and snow. If snowfall occurs during hours when people will be on-site, snow should be cleared at regular intervals.
- Keep bags of salt or sand readily available near your doors. Sometimes, it can be difficult to predict when you will experience icy conditions on your property. Make it easy for staff and volunteers to find de-icing supplies quickly to cover slippery patches.
- Keep accumulations of ice from building up outside. This can occur when you have a clogged roof gutter that results in water or slush dripping onto the sidewalk below. It can also happen when you have a buildup of snow on your roof. Remember to include your roof in your regular snow clearing process.
Helping people protect themselves
- Select proper footwear. Shoes or boots that have rubber or neoprene composite soles have better traction on ice than leather or plastic. Additionally, most dressy shoes are ill-fitted for winter wear; it’s best to pack shoes in a bag and wear boots outside.
- Take care when entering or exiting your vehicle. Rather than grabbing items before exiting, you should exit your vehicle, then retrieve any items you need. Hold on to your vehicle to help support yourself.
- Walk “small,” taking short, shuffling steps. This increases your center of gravity, making it easier for your body to right itself before slipping.
- Walk, don’t run. Even when you think conditions are clear, you could come across “black ice” that could cause you to seriously injure yourself. Try testing your travel path by sliding your shoe or boot over it to see if it is slick.
Slips and falls are among the most common causes for injuries doctors see during the winter. While you can’t anticipate every situation, you can make it easier for your people to stay safe.
Discover additional information, resources and more designed to help your organization reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls at churchmutual.com/falls.