Winter walking: Tips to avoid slip and fall injuries

January 27, 2012
Each winter Purdue employees experience slips and falls due to snowy and icy conditions. Some injuries may be very severe and have a long-term physical impact on the employee. Broken hips, broken arms and back or head injuries are among the most common winter slip and fall injuries. 
   
During the 2011 calendar year, falls due to snow or ice resulted in more than 60 injuries; that's one of every four reported injuries.
   
Despite the snow removal efforts of the Grounds Department and Physical Facilities personnel, hazardous conditions are likely to exist from sudden and unpredictable winter weather. Radiological and Environmental Management (REM) would like to remind faculty and staff to walk safely as they venture out this winter:
   
* Wear appropriate footwear to increase traction on ice and snow. Boots or special over-the-shoe ice cleats can be purchased locally or online. Remember to remove ice cleats when inside since they can make walking even more difficult on tile or terrazzo.
   
* Walk on surfaces that have been cleared or treated if possible. Avoid taking shortcuts.
   
* Take advantage of tunnels or walk through buildings even if it takes a little longer.
   
* Slow down and take shorter steps so you can react to a change in traction more easily.
   
For more information, visit the REM website at www.purdue.edu/rem/injury/stf.htm or contact REM at 49-46371 or Eric Butt, occupational safety manager, at embutt@purdue.edu.