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With lows beginning to reach down below 32 F here in Kansas City, winter will be here in full force before we know it. Snow, ice, and slippery conditions pose a significantly greater risk for slip and fall injuries. These can include slips, trips, falls, and other accidents due to the potentially dangerous conditions created by the cold weather. 

While the majority of these incidents will only result in minor injuries like small cuts, bruises, and abrasions, these slips and falls have the potential to cause much more serious injuries ranging from broken bones to life-altering traumatic brain injury. By preparing yourself in a few small ways, you may be able to prevent winter injury to yourself and to those on your property and greatly minimize your risk as a result.

  1. Wear protective footwear.

Footwear that provides traction in winter conditions is important. Shoes that have rubber soles with extra grip and texture will help keep you balanced and stable on ice or snow. Always make sure your shoes have the proper fit, and generally avoid plastic or leather soles in the winter time. 

  1. Free hands are ready hands!

This one may sound silly, but think about it – our hands are one of the first parts of our body to suffer from the cold if unprotected. And when they get cold, where do we like to put them? In our pockets or buried in a hoodie! But this poses a great risk to your ability to recover if for some reason you lose your balance. If you know you will be exposed to cold weather, wear gloves so your hands can stay free and ready to maintain your balance if necessary.

  1. Always use the handrails.

If you are a property owner, your handrails are a great thing to check on before winter conditions arrive. Make sure they are clean and stable and ready for use in the case that snow or ice cover any part of your pavement or sidewalks. On the other hand, don’t hesitate to use a handrail even if you don’t anticipate needing one. Having one nearby can be the difference between a minor and major fall.

  1. Land both feet before exiting a vehicle. 

When getting out of a car, swing both legs out and land both feet on the ground before attempting to exit. Many people just land one foot on the ground before they try standing up. In the presence of snow or ice, this can be a dangerous move. This is especially handy advice for those caring for or assisting elderly loved ones who are more prone to winter accidents. 

  1. Quickly address wet, indoor surfaces.

During the winter months, all kinds of water, ice, and moisture can be tracked indoors, especially surrounding entryways. Pay special attention to these areas as they pose a significant risk to you, your workforce, and your clientele. Use “Caution, Wet Surface” signs. The quicker you address wet spots, the less exposure to the potential of an accident. 

Be smart and proactive this winter with these 5 measures to avoid winter injury. For more information, contact Jeremy Swenson Consulting today.

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