Tips for Walking on Ice and Snow
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2014, there were 42,480 workplace injuries and illnesses involving ice, sleet, or snow. These injuries required at least one day away from work to recuperate.
Common injuries from falling on ice and snow include:
- Sprains and strains
- Compression fractures, including spinal compression fractures
- Broken bones
- Joint injuries (knee, shoulder, etc.)
- Back injuries, including compression fractures (most commonly in the lower back)
- Concussion caused by falling on ice and hitting your head.
So is there a safe way to walk on ice and snow? The answer is yes. Follow these tips to get yourself safely from Point A to Point B.
Remove Ice and Snow
Remove the ice and snow. Prepare for winter storms by purchasing salt or ice melt ahead of time. Walking surfaces should be treated as quickly as possible after a storm.
Stay on Designated Walkways
Avoid using shortcuts while walking. Always stay on designated pedestrian walkways.
Keep Your Eyes on the Path
Keep your eyes on the path. Place your cellphone in your pocket and avoid carrying heavy items or objects that obstruct your view of the path.
Wear Proper Footwear
If you must walk on snow or ice, wear footwear that is insulated and has good traction. If possible, keep a pair of rubber over-shoes with you in the winter months just in case. These products have spikes on the sole and slip onto your regular boots for walking on snow and ice. Avoid wearing high heels and smooth leather soles.
Waddle and take short steps while walking. Bend slightly at the waist so you can keep your center of gravity under your feet and waddle side-to-side. Imagine you are waddling like a penguin.
When exiting your vehicle or stepping down from a stair or curb, keep your feet tucked under your body.
BITCO is proud of our long-standing commitment to protecting the health and safety of our employees and clients. We are here for you. If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact your local BITCO Risk Control Consultant.