December 14, 2017

Winter walking: Tips to avoid slip and fall injuries

Purdue employees experience slips and falls due to snowy and icy conditions every winter. Some injuries are severe and have a long-term physical effect on the employee. Broken hips, broken arms and injuries to backs or heads are among the most common severe winter slip and fall injuries. 

As winter weather descends upon this area, Radiological and Environmental Management reminds everyone to walk safely and take some simple precautions:

* Wear appropriate footwear to increase traction, or wear over-the-shoe ice cleats. (Smooth soles and high heels offer little traction on ice and snow and should not be worn; remember to remove ice cleats indoors to avoid slipping on tile and terrazzo.) 

* Avoid carrying heavy or awkward loads; use shoulder straps on bags and backpacks, and wear gloves to keep your hands warm and free for balance.

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

* Walk only on cleared and treated surfaces (plan your route; use pedestrian walkways and subwalks and walk through buildings whenever possible).

* Use handrails when walking up and down stairs or take the elevator (falls on stairs lead to some of the most severe injuries).

* Call 765-494-3087 to report unsafe surface conditions inside or outside of buildings. Don’t assume someone else already has called in the hazard.

Take a moment to view an informative two-minute video created by Wyoming Workforce Services demonstrating some of these winter walking techniques.

For more information, contact REM at 765-494-6371 or send email to Eric Butt, REM assistant director, at embutt@purdue.edu.


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