Coloradans understand, better than most, that winter can be a treacherous time of year. Snow and ice can make a mundane task, such as going to the store, into a hazardous activity, especially if the property owner or manager fails to protect their customers.
Workplace slip-and-fall injuries also happen more frequently when the weather turns colder. The U.S. Bureau of Labor’s 2020 statistics show that nearly 42% of on-the-job fatalities resulted from snow, sleet or ice accidents. Additionally, more than 20,000 employees missed at least one day of work due to injuries related to slippery conditions.
How to avoid becoming a statistic
The older you get, the more susceptible you are for serious injuries related to slip-and-fall accidents. Safety advocate, Consumer Reports offers these tips to reduce your chances of falling on snow and ice:
Footwear is essential
Lace-up shoes that fit snugly and have deep grooves and nonskid rubber soles are best for snow and ice. You may also want to buy a pair of strap-on ice cleats. Also, remember not to track water throughout your home, increasing your chances of slipping indoors.
Staying warm outdoors becomes more difficult with age. But freezing temperatures can make anyone’s muscles and joints stiffen, which decreases mobility. Wearing loose layers of clothing can help keep your blood circulating more efficiently to guard against losing your footing.
Seeing is believing
People with vision problems or out-of-date eyeglass prescriptions are more susceptible to falling. See your eye doctor each year and keep scarves, hats and other coverings from obstructing your vision.
Walk like a penguin
Try to avoid icy patches, but when it’s unavoidable, take short, flat steps mimicking the loveable tuxedoed birds. When encountering icy steps, face the railing and hold on with both hands, stepping sideways to keep upright.
Consider de-icing methods
Safety experts say to be ready at home, consider spreading rock salt or other de-icing methods ahead of time, similar to how state and local road departments prepare. You’ll want to consider the environmental effects of spreading these substances before or after ice forms. But even keeping a cupful of kitty litter handy can help improve your footing.
Those are some of the steps you can take to keep yourself safe. But you have no control over the actions of others. If you are injured due to someone else’s failure to keep you safe on their property, it may be a good idea to seek experienced legal guidance to be compensated for your injuries.