Slips and falls are the most common workplace accidents, but the trouble intensifies during the winter. Even simple accidents can affect homeowners, businesses, and communities. The Midwest is known for its harsh winter climate, and one wrong move on slick surfaces can lead to extended pain, suffering, and traumatic brain injuries. According to EMC Insurance claims, a single slip and fall injury can cost over $12,000 in medical fees, and the colder weather causes rates of the occurrences to soar. Fortunately, there are some simple tips to help anyone avoid winter-based slip and fall accidents once and for all.
Focus on Your Footing
Slippery and uneven wintery surfaces can leave you seeing stars. Ice can seem to come out of nowhere, but getting to your destination a few minutes late is better than not getting there at all. Concentrate on your path, watch your footing and slow down when walking on uneven or icy terrain if you really want to get there in one solid piece.
Ditch the Heels
Dress shoes may play an important part in your business or social life, but “life” is the key word here. When walking on snow or ice, proper footwear is an essential safety element. Winter walking shoes or boots should have waffled or thickly textured soles to grip the solids or ground and stabilize the rest of the body. If you still need those fancy shoes, change in a dry location once you get to your destination. A little inconvenience always beats an extended hospital stay.
Avoid the Shortcuts
Most businesses will prioritize the needs and safety of their customer base. So regardless of whether you’re heading into work or simply running errands, notice and follow the clear or authorized paths. It may not be the quickest or most efficient way to your destination, but nine times out of ten, it’s the safest. Winter shortcuts can lead to slick patches of pure trouble. Play it safe and use your head.
Keep Your Hands Free
A sudden fall can really be a bad break, but in the winter that break could potentially result in traumatic brain injuries. Keeping your arms clear and making sure your hands are free to catch your fall can help you avoid a catastrophe. If you have to carry something, opt for using a backpack or a strong bag with shoulder straps. And if groceries are a must, toss them aside mid fall. Remember: It’s always better to have broken eggs than a broken skull.
Homeowners and business owners are legally responsible for many injuries obtained on private property. Failing to maintain safe walkways, parking lots, and interior surfaces increases the risk of unnecessary injuries and lengthy legal battles. Salting all slick walkable areas is a simple and inexpensive way to keep the ice at bay and ensure everyone keeps their footing throughout the winter season.
Notice and Adjust to Surface Changes
Uneven or constantly changing surfaces lead to winter slips, falls, and injuries. In fact, some of the most serious accidents occur when someone suddenly hits black ice or another unstable surface. Ice and water can appear out of nowhere when the temperatures plummet, and cracks or uneven walkways are perfect hiding places. Paying extra attention to your surroundings and footing at all times will help you avoid an accident. But if injuries still occur, a call to your Ann Arbor slip and fall accident attorney can help you get back on your feet.