6 Tips to Avoid Slip and Fall Injuries

February 13, 2013  

This is part of a series of articles discussing safety and security for Purdue's West Lafayette campus.

Each winter snowy and icy conditions lead to serious injuries — broken hips, broken arms and cracked backs or skulls.

During 2012, 77 injuries were reported on campus as a direct result of falls due to ice or snow. One in five injuries at Purdue is a slip, trip or fall. Despite the best efforts of our Grounds Department and Physical Facilities personnel, hazardous conditions are likely to exist from abrupt changes in Indiana winter weather. What can you do?

* Wear appropriate footwear to increase traction on ice and snow. Smooth leather soles and high heels offer little traction in such conditions and should not be worn. 

* Slow down and take shorter steps so you can react to a change in traction more easily.

* Avoid carrying heavy or awkward loads; utilize shoulder straps on bags and backpacks to keep your hands free for balance and use handrails when walking on stairs.

* To help increase your balance, wear gloves so your hands stay warm and out of your pockets.

* Buy over-the-shoe ice cleats for as low as $10. You can find them at local hardware stores or on the Internet. (Remember to take the cleats off when inside since they can damage floors or even be more slippery on tile or terrazzo.)

* Take advantage of tunnels and elevators and walk through buildings even if it takes a little longer. Walk on surfaces that have been cleared or treated if possible, and avoid taking shortcuts.

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