Minimizing the Risk of Weather-Related Slip-and-Falls
In New Jersey, winters can be brutal, with temperatures in the teens and 20s for much of January and February and nearly two feet of snow over the course of the season. If your job requires you to be outside, or to go in and out, you can be at significant risk of serious injury in a slip-and-fall; however, there are steps you can take to minimize the likelihood of an accident.
Sudden temperature drops can quickly turn rain into sleet, snow, and ice, and make footing treacherous. To minimize the risk of a mishap on a slippery sidewalk, loading dock, ramp, or stairway, follow these tips:
- Wear insulated boots with a good rubber sole—If your footwear isn’t properly insulated, the warmth from your feet may cause snow to melt and then refreeze to the bottom of your shoes. Make certain, too, that the tread is still good on your boots. If it’s worn or has hardened, you won’t get good traction.
- Keep salt or sand close by any walking area where snow or ice accumulate—Use it liberally—it’s better to use too much than not enough.
- Slow the pace—Taking shorter strides helps you maintain your balance should you start to slip. Avoid running, if at all possible. When taking steps that are icy or snow-covered, put both feet on the same step before moving up or down to the next one. Use the handrail if one is provided.
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