According to the National Safety Council, trips, slips, and falls account for over 20 percent of all disabling injuries and are the leading cause of workplace deaths. Winter in Alaska increases the trip, slip, and fall hazards we face. We contend with ice, snow, slush, and rain in the outdoors. Additionally, we face wet spots in entrances, hallways, and other places due to melting snow and ice tracked indoors.
These hazards won’t ever go away, but there are a number of things we can do to reduce our risk of injury. Take the following precautions to be safer during winter times:
1. Be careful at all entrances and exits. They may be wet from rain, snow, or ice.
2. When exiting a vehicle, hold on to the vehicle and exit slowly. You want to avoid quickly putting your full weight onto an icy or slippery surface, which can cause a fall.
3. When possible, avoid carrying heavy loads in icy or snowy conditions.
4. Wear slip resistant shoes or boots, or equip your footwear with snow cleats.
5. Be sure to take off your snow cleats before heading inside. Snow cleats add traction in the snow and ice, but eliminate traction on many hard indoor surfaces.
6. Always pay attention to where you’re walking and slow down if necessary.