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The temperatures are falling and with that comes the chance for snow and ice. During the winter months, slipping on ice is one of the most common and dangerous injuries. Ensure this winter that you aren’t falling along with the temperatures with a few safety tips.

As cold weather and storms approach, the best way to avoid a slip and fall injury is to be prepared. When the forecast shows snow and ice, be ready with snow shovels and sidewalk salt or have help lined up to keep your sidewalk and driveways safe.

When walking on snow and ice is unavoidable, here are a few tips to remain on your feet. When exiting a vehicle, always keep three points of contact.

For example: one foot on the floor board (1), one hand on the inside of the door handle (2), and one hand on the inner cab handle (3)

Before putting your weight outside of the vehicle, use caution to ensure a good footing. Your foot outside will then transfer to the third point of contact. Do not take objects out of the car with out, instead get out of the car and retrieve your needed objects.

When walking on ice, keep in mind to do the “penguin walk”. When walking like a penguin, you keep your weight forward on your front foot to keep your balance. Take small steps and turn your feet out slightly. Standing straight up while walking will shift your weight backwards, making you prone to a slip and fall accident. If you do fall, keep your chin tucked to avoid a head injury.

Other tips to keep in mind when walking on the ice to avoid slipping and falling include:

  • Wearing flat, rubber soled shoes to maintain traction.
  • Only walk on surfaces that have been cleared of snow and ice.
  • Use handrails when available to keep your balance.
  • Use floot mats when entering a building to protect you from slippery surfaces indoors.

 

This winter, be prepared for inclement weather. If possible, do not venture into the snow and ice. If it is absolutely necessary, keep in mind these winter walking precautions.

 

By Robin Dodd

Sources:

https://www.ehs.iastate.edu/news/walk-safe-winter

https://www.today.com/health/stay-safe-ice-walk-penguin-2d12108872

 

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